U.S. Drilling Activity Ticks Up As Oil Prices Rise

U.S. Drilling Activity Ticks Up As Oil Prices Rise

By Julianne Geiger – Sep 15, 2023, 12:25 PM CDT


The total number of active drilling rigs in the United States rose by 9 this week, according to new data from Baker Hughes published Friday.

The total rig count rebounded to 641 this week. So far this year, Baker Hughes has estimated a loss of 138 active drilling rigs. This week’s count is 434 fewer rigs than the rig count at the beginning of 2019 prior to the pandemic.

The number of oil rigs rose by 2 this week to 515, down by 106 so far in 2023. The number of gas rigs rose by 8 this week to 121, a loss of 35 active gas rigs from the start of the year. Miscellaneous rigs fell by 1 this week.

The rig count in the Permian Basin rose by 2 this week—21 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 8, to 252, down from 244 in the week prior. The frac spread count is 4 fewer than where it started the year.

Crude oil production levels in the United States rose during the week ending September 8 to 12.9 million bpd, according to the latest weekly EIA estimates—sitting at the highest production level since 2019. U.S. production levels are now up 800,000 bpd versus a year ago.

At 12:07 p.m. ET on Friday, the WTI benchmark was trading up $0.55 (+0.61%) on the day at $90.71—up roughly $3 per barrel from this time last week. The Brent benchmark was trading up $0.14 (+0.15%) at $93.84 per barrel on the day—also up roughly $3 per barrel from a week ago.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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