The total U.S. oil and gas rig count jumped by 18 to 424 in the week ending Jan. 13, with the Permian Basin seeing its largest weekly gain since the pandemic began, according to a report by S&P Global Platts Analytics. Haynesville Shale, a largely dry gas play in northwest Louisiana, gained two rigs for a total of 49.
The increase coincided with the price of oil exceeding $50 a barrel, a level not seen since February 2020. It appears that higher oil prices might be causing upstream operators to invest more in their drilling operations. Besides the jump in total rig counts, horizontal wells are up by 22 week to 355. Since bottoming at 279 in early July, the rig count has now rebounded by 52 percent.
The rise in oil prices came on the heels of Saudi Arabia’s surprise announcement of an extra 1 million barrel-per-day production cut in February and March that should help bring down oil inventories. Platts Analytics expects the rig count to rise further due to higher oil prices. See the full story at S&P Global Platts Analytics.