For the week ended on August 13, U.S. oil and natural gas companies added 9 oil and natural gas drilling rigs to bring the total rig count to 500. That’s up 256 rigs, or 105%, from a record low of 244 in the summer of 2020, according to Baker Hughes.
U.S. oil rigs rose 10 to 397 this week, also their highest since April 2020, and up from 172 a year ago. That was the lowest count wince 2005–before the oil share boom.
Gas rigs fell one to 102, but that was still up from a record low of 68 in July 2020.
The largest additions, Baker Hughes, reported were in the Eagle Ford geology of South Texas (four), Williston in North Dakota and Montana (four) and the Permian Basin of West Texas and eastern New Mexico (four).
U.S. crude futures were trading about $68 a barrel on Friday, putting the benchmark up slightly for the week even though oil demand growth is slowing sharply due to the spread of coronavirus variants. Most capital spending budgets at oil and gas companies right now are focused on replacing natural declines in well production, which can be especially rapid from wells in oil shale regions. U.S. crude oil production is expected to fall by 160,000 barrels per day in 2021 to 11.12 million barrels per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Tuesday’s projection from the agency called for a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 barrels per day.