Economy

U.S. rig count rises by 15, largest increase in 8 months

U.S. rig count rises by 15, largest increase in 8 months

That was the biggest weekly increase since drillers added 89 rigs during the same week in 2017. This is primarily due to crude prices reaching their highest levels in three years. The total active USA rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, also rose by 15 to 939, according to Baker Hughes.

The United States added 15 rigs total for the week - including 10 oil-directed units - to end at 939, good for 280 more active rigs than a year ago.

The increase in USA drilling persisted 14 months before momentarily halting during the second half of 2017, as some producers decreased their 2017 spending plans after prices declined over the summer.

In the Permian Basin of west Texas and southeastern New Mexico, the rig count now stands at 403, three more compared with the previous week's count.

USA crude futures traded around US$64 a barrel this week, their highest levels since December 2014.

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Energy firms in both the United States and Canada have mostly increased the number of rigs operating since the summer of 2016 as USA crude prices climbed over the key US$50 a barrel level that analysts said would prompt drillers to return to the well pad.

Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active USA rigs drilling for oil climbed by 10 at 752 this week.

The strong oil prices of late may give exploration and production (E&P) companies reason for optimism as they put together their 2018 capital expenditure budgets.

Canada, meanwhile, saw a whopping 102 rigs return during the week, according to BHI's count, including 87 oil-directed rigs and 15 gas-directed. On average, there were 876 rigs available for service in 2017, 509 in 2016 and 978 in 2015.


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