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Oil Prices Plummet As U.S. Drillers Add More Rigs

February 9, 2018, by Daniel King


As if the recent nosedive that oil prices have taken in the last few days wasn’t bad enough—Baker Hughes reported a staggering increase to the number of rigs. The number of active oil and gas rigs increased by 29 according to Baker Hughes data. This brings the total number of oil and gas rigs to 975, which is an addition of 234 rigs year over year.

The number of oil rigs in the United States rose this week by 26 with the number of gas rigs increasing by 3. The number of oil rigs now stands at 791 versus 591 a year ago. The number of gas rigs in the US now stands at 184, up from 149 a year ago.

At 11:24 am EST, the price of a WTI barrel was trading down $1.35 (-2.21 percent) to $59.80—almost a staggering $5.00 under this same time last week. The Brent barrel trading down $1.39 (-2.14 percent) to $63.42, also almost $5 per barrel under last week, and a loss of 9 percent since the highs in late January.

Pressing on prices are robust US production. US crude oil production rose again, to 10.251 million bpd, from 9.919 million bpd the week before, setting another new high and surpassing the psychological threshold of 10.0 million bpd.

Last week, the EIA pressured prices even further when it changed its US production forecast, with their prediction that the US would reach 11 million bpd by the end of 2018—a full year earlier than its previous estimates that it had made just last month.

The Permian basin rig count saw the greatest increase to the number of rigs at 10.


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