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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 Slows To 19-Month Low In U.S.

Bonespring rig

The total number of active drilling rigs in the United States fell by 11 this week, after seeing a brief 9-rig rise last week, according to new data from Baker Hughes published Friday.

It is the fewest number of active drilling rigs since February 4, 2022.

The total rig count fell to 630 this week. So far this year, Baker Hughes has estimated a loss of 149 active drilling rigs. This week’s count is 445 fewer rigs than the rig count at the beginning of 2019 prior to the pandemic.

The number of oil rigs fell by 8 this week to 507, down by 114 so far in 2023. The number of gas rigs fell by 3 this week to 118, a loss of 38 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—27 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 wells (which is cheaper than drilling new wells), rose in week ending September 15, to 264, up from 252 in the week prior. The frac spread count is 6 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 800,000 bpd versus a year ago.

At 12:21 p.m. ET on Friday, the WTI benchmark was trading up $0.12 (+0.13%) on the day at $89.75—down roughly $1 per barrel from this time last week. The Brent benchmark was trading down $0.10 (-0.11%) at $93.20 per barrel on the day—down roughly $0.60 per barrel from a week ago.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com


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  • Mamdouh Salameh on September 22 2023 said:
    Yet, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) comes up with an extremely hyped figure of 12.9 million barrels a day (mbd) for current US production according to its latest weekly estimates.

    And despite calls by experts and oil shale veterans alike to the EIA to provide more accurate figures, it promised to do so last year but never delivered.

    Were the EIA to let independent experts assess its figures, we will probably find that US production doesn't exceed 10-11 mbd.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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