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Total rig count falls to 757 as oil rigs resume trend downward

The United States total rig count fell again this week, continuing a trend started last year when OPEC announced it would not defend oil prices. The total rig count fell by 10 this week to 757, with all of the last rigs coming from the oil patch, according to Baker Hughes (ticker: BHI).

Last week, the oil rig count broke a 10-week streak of declines, but low prices saw the number of rigs in the oil patch sink further in the week ended November 20, 2015. The oil rig count fell to 564 this week, with most of the lost rigs located in the Permian basin.

Gas rigs remained unchanged this week at 193, after making up the majority of last week’s lost rigs.

The number of rigs drilling in Canada also decreased sharply this week, shedding 6% of its total. According to Baker Hughes, the number of rigs drilling in Canada fell to 166 this week, down 10 from last week, and 25 in November.

The majority of lost rigs this week came from Louisiana and Oklahoma, both of which lost four rigs, while Colorado and Wyoming each laid down three. Texas saw the largest increase this week, adding four rigs to its count.

Production remains high


Despite the lower rig count, production in the U.S. has remained at elevated levels as operators target greater efficiency in their drilling programs. The U.S. Department of Energy’s information on production is currently only updated to the end of August, but production remains near levels seen this time last year despite less than 40% of the number of rigs drilling for oil and gas.

U.S. crude oil benchmark WTI closed down $1.15 today, leaving it below $40 per barrel at $39.39. International crude benchmark Brent was up $0.26 today and closed at $44.44.

Source: Bloomberg WTI crude oil price

Source: Bloomberg WTI crude oil price Nov. 6-Nov. 20

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