US Crude Oil Rigs Were Flat Last Week

Gordon Kristopher - Author

Nov. 20 2020, Updated 12:46 p.m. ET

Oil rigs 

Baker Hughes, a General Electric company, published its US crude oil rigs report on November 17, 2017. It reported that US oil rig counts were flat at 738 on November 10–17, 2017. The rigs rose 63.3% from the same period in 2016. US crude oil (OIL) (USO) (UCO) prices were trading near a 30-month high. Higher oil prices help oil producers (XLE) and drillers (XES) like Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO), Transocean (RIG), Halliburton (HAL), and Matador Resources (MTDR).

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Peak and low 

The US crude oil rig count tested 1,609 in October 2014. In contrast, US oil rigs tested 316 in May 2016—the lowest level since the 1940s. The rigs have risen by 422 or 134% since May 2016 due to higher crude oil (DWT) (UWT) prices.

US shale oil production 

The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) forecast that US shale oil production would rise for the 12th consecutive month in December 2017. The International Energy Agency forecast that the US would contribute 80% of the global rise in oil production in the next ten years.

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Monthly international rig count

International oil and gas rigs rose by 20 to 951 in October 2017—compared to the previous month. They rose 2% month-over-month and 3.4% YoY (year-over-year). The international crude oil rig count rose by 13 rigs or 1.8% month-over-month and by 47 or 7.1% YoY in October 2017.


US crude oil rigs are near a six-month low. However, US oil (USL) (SCO) prices have risen ~30% since the lows in June 2017. Higher oil prices could increase US oil rigs and production, which could pressure oil (UWT) (DWT) prices.

In the next part, we’ll discuss US crude oil price drivers this week.


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