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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.

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U.S. Drilling Dips Slightly Amid Rising Oil Prices

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The total number of active drilling rigs in the United States fell by 5 this week, according to new data from Baker Hughes published Friday.

The total rig count fell to 664 this week. So far this year, Baker Hughes has estimated a loss of more than 100 active drilling rigs. This week’s count is 411 fewer rigs than the rig count at the beginning of 2019, prior to the pandemic.

The number of oil rigs declined by 1 this week to 529, down by 92 so far in 2023. The number of gas rigs fell by 3, to 128, a loss of 28 active gas rigs from the start of the year. Miscellaneous rigs lost 1 rig this last week.

The rig count in the Permian Basin rose by 1—17 rigs below this same time last year. The rig count in the Eagle Ford fell by 2, and is now 17 fewer than this time last year.

Primary Vision’s Frac Spread Count, an estimate of the number of crews completing unfinished wells (which is cheaper than drilling new wells), rose for the second week in a row this week. The frac spread count rose to 274 in the week ending July 21, up from 263 in the week prior. The frac spread count is 16 higher than where it started the year.

Crude oil production levels in the United States fell by 100,000 bpd to 12.2 million bpd in the week ending July 21, according to the latest weekly EIA estimates—on par with production levels at the beginning of the year.  U.S. production levels are now up 100,000 bpd versus a year ago.

At 10:58 a.m. ET on Friday, the WTI benchmark was trading down $0.35 (-0.44%) on the day at $79.74—up nearly $3 per barrel from this time last week. The Brent benchmark was trading down $0.88 (-1.03%) at $84.80 per barrel on the day—up about $4 from a week ago.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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