More Drilling Slowdowns for U.S. Oil, Gas Industry

The total number of active drilling rigs for oil and gas in the United States fell again this week, according to new data that Baker Hughes published on Friday.The total rig count fell by 2 to 619 this week, compared to 775 rigs this same time last year.The number of oil rigs fell by 2 this week, settling at 499–down by 124 compared to this time last year. The number of gas rigs fell by 1 this week to 117, a loss of 33 active gas rigs from this time last year. Miscellaneous rigs hit 3 rigs after rising by 1.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil production stayed at an average of 13.2 million bpd in the week ending January 5—a 1 million bpd increase from the same week in 2022.Primary Vision’s Frac Spread Count, an estimate of the number of crews completing wells that are unfinished, continued to fall this week. Completion crews fell by 4 in the week to January 5 to 236. This follows a string of weekly decreases in completion activity that dipped by 38 over the previous three weeks.  after falling by 13 in the week prior. The frac spread count is now at its lowest level since December 31, 2021.

The Permian saw a decline of 2 rigs, while the Eagle Ford saw a 2-rig gain. Rigs also fell in the Cana Woodford, DJ-Niobrara, and Marcellus basins.Oil prices began the day trading up. At 11:58 a.m. ET on Friday, the WTI benchmark was trading up $1.04 (+1.44%) on the day at $73.06 as escalations in the Red Sea spark supply fears. While up on the day, that price level is just a $0.40 increase from last week at this time.  The Brent benchmark was trading up $1.14 (+1.47%) at $78.55, an increase of roughly $0.55 per barrel from a week ago.