Oil price surge leads to jump in rig count
The U.S. rig count leaped 15 this week, the largest increase since May, with oil prices surging past $63 a barrel and confidence returning to the patch.The price for Brent crude moved past $70 a barrel this week. At these prices, producers will probably have less need for hedging and may become more active if they can find the crews to operate the wells. With the price increases, Russia and OPEC may open their spigots too.
Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes, a GE company, reported Friday that the number of oil rigs in U.S. fields jumped 10 to 752; gas rigs five to 187.
The total, 939, was still 19 off its recent peak of 958, at the end of July.
Still, the count has risen 280 over this time last year, with oil rigs up 230, gas 51, and miscellaneous rigs down one.