Drilling activity up: the U.S. adds ten more rigs this week – more rigs drilling in the Barnett today than a year ago

The rig count in the U.S. continued to climb for a third-straight week this week, according to information released from Baker Hughes Industries (ticker: BHI). Ten more rigs joined the total number of active rigs this week bringing the total to 424, indicating that drilling activity is continuing to rise as oil prices remain in the $45-$50 per barrel range.

Most of the added rigs this week are targeting oil, with nine new oil focused rigs, and just one targeting natural gas. There are currently 337 rigs drilling for oil and 86 targeting gas, according to BHI. Despite the recent recovery rig counts, are still down more than 50% from 857 last year.

Almost all the additional rigs were in Texas, according to statistics released Friday. The state reported 13 additional active rigs this week. The next largest gain in rig counts was in West Virginia, where two rigs joined the fleet.

On a basin-by-basin basis, most of the additions were in the Barnett, where five rigs were added. The Eagle Ford and Permian each reported four additional rigs, while the Cana Woodford added three rigs, and the Marcellus one rig, to their counts. The additional rigs in the Barnett make it the only play currently more active than it was a year ago with seven rigs drilling today, compared to six during this week in 2015.

Oil prices up despite increased drilling activity

Both WTI and Brent crude oil grades are up today despite the news of more rigs drilling in the United States. WTI was up 4.4%, while Brent was up 4.7% as markets closed. Higher oil prices snapped a six-day losing streak brought on by smaller-than-expected inventory draws and the possible exit of the U.K. from the European Union.

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