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US Natural Gas Rig Count Has Risen 33.3% in 2017


Dec. 15 2017, Published 9:27 a.m. ET

US natural gas rig count 

Baker Hughes, a GE company, will publish its US crude oil and natural gas rig count report on December 15, 2017. In the previous week’s report, natural gas rigs were flat at 180 on December 1–8, 2017. The US natural gas rig count was near a nine-week high. Rigs have risen 44% YoY (year-over-year) and 33.3% year-to-date. Rigs rose because US crude oil (USO) (UWT) prices were near a three-year high.

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Monthly drilling productivity report 

The EIA will release its monthly drilling report on December 18, 2017. In its report last month, the EIA estimated that US natural gas production would increase in the seven shale regions by 779 Mcf (million cubic feet) per day to 61,705 Mcf per day in December 2017—compared to November 2017. Production is expected to rise mainly in the Appalachia, Permian, and Haynesville shale regions during this period.

Higher crude oil and natural gas prices would drive drilling activity. It benefits energy (VDE) (IEZ) producers and drillers like Antero Resources (AR), WPX Energy (WPX), Rowan Companies (RDC), and Transocean (RIG).

Monthly international natural gas rig count 

Baker Hughes estimates that the international natural gas rig count fell by 11 to 186 in November 2017—compared to the previous month. International natural gas rigs fell 5.6% month-over-month and 3.6% or by seven rigs YoY.

Crude oil prices and natural gas prices 

The US gas rig count was near a two-month high. US oil prices were near a 30-month high. Natural gas is usually an associated product of crude oil. Higher oil prices would drive the US crude oil rig count, which would result in higher natural gas supplies. Higher US natural gas supplies will weigh on natural gas prices.

Next, we’ll focus on US natural gas production and consumption.


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