Oil and gas rig count falls despite high global demand
The total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs in the United States fell by five this week, the fourth decline in the last five weeks that comes despite high global demand for crude.
The new numbers bring the total U.S. rig count down to 760, according to data published by Baker Hughes on Friday.
The decline was led primarily by a drop-off in active oil rigs, which fell by nine to reach 596, the sharpest one-week drop-off since September 2021.
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Meanwhile, the number of active U.S. gas rigs increased by four to 162 in the highest single-week increase since August 2019.
Oil prices continued to climb slightly on Friday, with futures for Brent crude climbing this afternoon to $93.97 per barrel, up $1.61 per barrel compared to the previous day.
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Meanwhile, futures for U.S.-based West Texas Intermediate reached $87.86, an increase of $1.25 on the day.
Domestic oil and gas production has recovered from the pandemic recession to near record highs under President Joe Biden despite his campaign pledges to crack down on fossil fuels.
Biden has taken several prominent actions to limit fossil fuel production, including blocking the Keystone XL pipeline and seeking a moratorium on new leases for drilling oil and gas on public lands.
But the Biden administration has endorsed increasing oil production to lower record gas prices as well as additional production and export of liquefied natural gas to aid allies in Europe who are trying to find alternatives to Russian gas imports.