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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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Oil, Gas Drilling Dips To February 2022 Low As Oil Prices Hover Near 2023 Highs

Oil rig

The total number of active drilling rigs in the United States fell by 7 this week, after falling 11 last week to a low not seen since February 2022, according to new data from Baker Hughes published Friday.

The total rig count fell to 623 this week. So far this year, Baker Hughes has estimated a loss of 156 active drilling rigs. This week’s count is 452 fewer rigs than the rig count at the beginning of 2019 prior to the pandemic.

The number of oil rigs fell by 5 this week to 502, down by 119 so far in 2023. The number of gas rigs fell by 2 this week to 116, a loss of 40 active gas rigs from the start of the year. Miscellaneous rigs stayed the same.

The rig count in the Permian Basin fell by 5 this week—the second week in a row for that size fo a drop, and 32 rigs below this same time last year. The rig count in the Eagle Ford stayed the same and is 23 fewer than this time last year.

Primary Vision’s Frac Spread Count, an estimate of the number of crews completing unfinished, fell in the week ending September 22, to 259, down from 264 in the week prior. The frac spread count is 1 more than where it started the year.

Crude oil production levels in the United States stayed at 12.9 million bpd, according to the latest weekly EIA estimates—still sitting at the highest production level since 2019. U.S. production levels are now up 900,000 bpd versus a year ago. The EIA also published monthly data on Friday that showed July’s average production rose slightly to 12.991 million bpd, compared to June’s 12.900 million bpd.

At 10:28 a.m. ET on Friday, the WTI benchmark was trading down $0.82 (-0.89%) on the day at $90.89—still up roughly $1 per barrel from this time last week. The Brent benchmark was trading down $0.08 (-0.08%) at $95.30 per barrel on the day—up roughly $2 per barrel from a week ago.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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