By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
As Saudi’s comments regarding the OPEC extension send the Brent Crude benchmark over $60 in mid-day trading for the first time in more than two years, oil and gas rigs in the United States fell for yet another week, according to Baker Hughes, dipping 4 rigs.
The total oil and gas rig count in the United States now stands at 909 rigs, up 352 rigs from the year prior, with the number of oil rigs in the United States increasing by 1 this week and the number of natural gas rigs decreasing by 5. Canada saw a decline of 11 in the number of active oil and gas rigs. The US oil rig count now stands at 737.
The spot price for WTI is also trading up to its highest level in six months, up 2.07% on the day at $53.73 at 12:30pm EST. Brent crude was trading up 1.61% at $59.99 at that time—more than $2 over last week’s close.
The price increase is largely thanks to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s non-specific backing of an extended OPEC deal, reassurances that the Aramco IPO is still on track, and his commitment to move the country beyond fossil fuels. Fears that the Iraqi vs. Kurd conflict may not find a quick end also lent support to prices.
US crude oil production was up for the week ending October 20, after falling by almost a million barrels daily for the week prior. Oil production for the week ending October 20 was 9.507 million barrels per day, as things return to normal post-hurricane.
At 20 minutes after the hour, WTI was trading at $53.77, with Brent crude trading at $60.02.