As oil prices surged to their highest level since 2018, U.S. Energy Companies installed oil and natural gas rigs for the sixth time in the past seven weeks, though gas drillers have halted their operations. The oil and gas rig count, a leading indicator of future output, increased by five to 461 in the week ending June 11, the highest level since April 2020, according to Baker Hughes Co, an energy services firm.
The total rig count increased by 182 rigs, or 65 percent, over the same period last year. According to Baker Hughes statistics dating back to 1940, it was also up 89 percent from hitting the lowest record of 244 in August 2020. Oil rigs increased from six to 365 in a week, the most in a month and the most since April 2020. For the first time after May 2020, the number of gas rigs dropped by one to 96.
According to Baker Hughes, there are 420 horizontal rigs in service this week. On Friday, US crude futures were trading above $71 per barrel, putting the market on course to settle at its highest level since October 2018. After decreasing drilling and completion expenditures for the past two years, some Energy Companies have announced they aim to increase spending in 2021 as prices have risen steadily since October 2020.