Oil Prices Bristle As U.S. Rig Count Climbs

 Oilprice.com

Oil Prices Bristle As U.S. Rig Count Climbs

Baker Hughes reported a 10-rig increase to the number of oil and gas rigs this week. The total number of oil and gas rigs now stands at 1003, which is an addition of 164 rigs year over year.

The number of oil rigs in the United States increased by 11 this week, for a total of 808 active oil wells in the US—a figure that is 136 more rigs than this time last year. The number of gas rigs held steady this week, still at 194; 29 rigs above this week last year.

The oil and gas rig count in the United States has increased by 80 in 2018.

While US drillers seem determined to add rigs, Canada continued its brutal losing streak, with a decrease of 23 oil and gas rigs, after losing 168 rigs last week in the four weeks prior. At just 111 total rigs, Canada now has 21 fewer rigs than it did a year ago.

Oil prices were trading down on Friday, with West Texas Intermediate trading down $0.27 (-0.42%) at $63.27 at 9:17am EST. The Brent benchmark was trading down $.011 (-0.16%) at $68.22. Price pressures persisted on Friday as the China and US trade tiff heated up, with President Trump announcing billions in additional tariffs in a tit-for-tat measure after China’s latest round of tariffs. Also weighing on prices this week is the ever-present threat of climbing US crude oil production, which rose again in the week ending March 30, reaching 10.460 million bpd—the sixth build in as many weeks—well on its way to the 11 million bpd mark that analysts see coming in 2018.

At 8 minutes after the hour, WTI was trading at $62.41 (-1.78%) and Brent was trading at $67.43 (-1.32%).

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

Oil hits highest level in nearly two weeks on Asian equity recovery

CNBC

  • Oil prices extended gains to hit their highest level in nearly two weeks on Monday, buoyed by a recovery in Asian shares and by worries over tensions in the Middle East.
  • The U.S. oil rig count, an indicator of future production, rose by seven to 798, its highest since April 2015, according to a weekly report from General Electric’s Baker Hughes unit.
  • Speculators also cut net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to Feb. 13 by the most since late August, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said.

Oil prices extended gains to hit their highest level in nearly two weeks on Monday, buoyed as Asian shares joined a global recovery in equity markets and by worries over tensions in the Middle East.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel could act against Iran itself, not just its allies in the Middle East, after border incidents in Syria brought the Middle East foes closer to direct confrontation.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery was up 74 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $62.42 a barrel by 0217 GMT, after earlier touching its highest since Feb. 7.

London Brent crude was up 46 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $65.30, after rising more than 3 percent last week.

“The upside momentum since WTI hit last week’s low of $58 has been continuing,” said Tetsu Emori, CEO of Emori Capital Management in Tokyo.

“Oil got mild support from gains in Asian equity markets, but has been getting pressure from the rise in U.S. rig count and a slight recovery in the dollar.”

Trading is expected to be slower than usual due market holidays in the United States as well as Greater China and India.

The U.S. oil rig count, an indicator of future production, rose by seven to 798, its highest since April 2015, according to a weekly report from General Electric’s Baker Hughes unit.

That marked the first time since June that drillers added rigs for four consecutive weeks, and the figure was well up on the 597 rigs that were active a year earlier as energy companies have boosted spending since mid-2016 when crude prices began recovering from a two-year crash.

Surging U.S. production is offsetting efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some other producers including Russia to curb production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of 2018.

Money managers slashed their bullish wagers on ICE Brent crude oil futures by the most in nearly eight months in the week to Feb. 13, data showed, as prices plunged amid concerns of oversupply.

Speculators also cut net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to Feb. 13 by the most since late August, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said.