The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose five to 650 in the week to Feb. 25, its highest since April 2020, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said in its closely followed report on Friday. RIG-USA-BHIRIG-OL-USA-BHIRIG-GS-USA-BHI
Baker Hughes said that puts the total rig count up 248 rigs, or 62%, over this time last year.
In February, the total oil and gas rig count rose by 40, putting the count up for a record 19th month in a row.
Oil rigs rose by 27 in the month, increasing for an 18th consecutive month, and gas rigs were up 12 in the month, growing for a sixth straight month.
U.S. oil rigs rose two to 522 this week, their highest since April 2020, while gas rigs rose three to 127, their highest since December 2019.
U.S. crude futures touched $100 per barrel this week for the first time since July 2014 after Russia’s attack on Ukraine exacerbated concerns about disruptions to global energy supply.
With oil prices up about 22% so far this year after soaring 55% in 2021, a growing number of energy firms said they plan to boost spending for a second year in a row in 2022 after cutting drilling and completion expenditures in 2019 and 2020.
U.S. financial services firm Cowen & Co said the independent exploration and production (E&P) companies it tracks plan to boost spending by about 10% in 2022 versus 2021 after increasing spending about 3% in 2021 versus 2020.
That follows a drop in capital expenditures of roughly 48% in 2020 and 12% in 2019.