Today, oil driller Baker Hughes reported the number of active oil rigs rose by 9 to 337 for the week ending June 17. This is the third consecutive weekly increase. This has not occurred since July and August of 2015. The number of gas-only rigs rose by 1 to 86. This brings the total number of active oil and gas rigs to 424, an increase of 10. The total count is lower by 433 from a year earlier, while the oil-only is down by 294.
Last week the oil-rig count jumped by 3 to 328, while the total rig count climbed by 6 to 414.
Crude oil showed little reaction to the data. The August WTI futures contract is currently surging by over 4% on the day to $48.13. Barring any unusual activity between now and the close, oil will finish the week lower, only its second week in the red out of the past eleven weeks. Last week, it was unable to sustain above $50 as fresh catalysts were absent to continue pushing it higher.
It’s been over four months since crude oil bottomed in February and with the oil rig count lagging cyclical moves, if the market has in fact found a cycle low, then the number of oil rigs operating should confirm this by continuing to stabilize and rise over time.