U.S. Oil & Gas Monitor

U.S. Oil & Gas Monitor

  • Defying Gravity?

    Defying Gravity?

    23rd June 2017

    Oil prices suffered again this week with WTI hitting a 10-month low (US$42.13 per barrel) while drillers continued their advance, adding 7 onshore rigs bring the total to 915 and increasing activity for a 23rd week in a row.  Onshore rigs now stand 518 rigs above the same period a year ago, 428 targeting oil. 

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  • Oil at Seven-Month Low while LNG Vessels Hit Record High

    Oil at Seven-Month Low while LNG Vessels Hit Record High

    16th June 2017

    While oil price suffered this week (WTI down to under US$45 per barrel, and Brent around US$47), drillers continued their upward march adding 6 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 22th week in a row and bringing the total to 908. Onshore rigs now stand 510 rigs above the same period a year ago, 410 of this targeting oil. 

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  • Rigs Up, Oil Down while Poland Imports US LNG

    Rigs Up, Oil Down while Poland Imports US LNG

    9th June 2017

    Drillers added 13 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 21th week in a row and bringing the total to 902. Onshore rigs now stand 514 rigs above the same period a year ago, 413 of these targeting oil; in stark contrast, offshore rigs stand 1 rig above the same period last year.

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  • Independent Operators Returning; Deepwater Drilling Rebound Spotty

    Independent Operators Returning; Deepwater Drilling Rebound Spotty

    2nd June 2017

    Drillers added 8 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 20th week in a row and bringing the total to 889. Onshore rigs now stand 507 rigs above the same period a year ago.  

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  • US Production Growth Continues; LNG Exports to Help Balance US Trade

    US Production Growth Continues; LNG Exports to Help Balance US Trade

    26th May 2017

    Drillers added 7 onshore rigs (5 targeting gas), increasing activity for an 18th week in a row and bringing the total to 881. Onshore rigs now stand 507 rigs above the same period a year ago.  

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  • OPEC and Russia Ponder their Next Move; Gas Needs a Bigger Slice

    OPEC and Russia Ponder their Next Move; Gas Needs a Bigger Slice

    19th May 2017

    Drillers added 14 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 17th week in a row and bringing the total to 878. Onshore rigs now stand at 497 rigs above the same period a year ago.  

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  • A Bottomless Pit?

    A Bottomless Pit?

    12th May 2017

    Drillers added 7 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 17th week in a row and bringing the total to 860. Onshore rigs now stand 478 rigs above the same period a year ago. US shale producers are boosting their drilling budgets, with much of the spending flowing into the Permian Basin

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  • Oil Market Déjà Vu

    Oil Market Déjà Vu

    5th May 2017

    Drillers added 4 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 16th week in a row and bringing the total to 853. Onshore rigs now stand 465 rigs above the same period a year ago. 

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  • We have a Problem!

    We have a Problem!

    28th April 2017

    Drillers added 15 onshore rigs (9 targeting oil), increasing activity for a 15th week in a row, bringing the total to 849. This extends the recovery into a 12th month as operators continue to boost spending on new onshore production. Onshore rigs now stand 458 rigs, ~120% above the same period a year ago, with Eagle Ford adding ~20% over the past 4 weeks.

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  • A One-Two Punch Knockout!

    A One-Two Punch Knockout!

    21st April 2017

    Drillers added 11 onshore rigs (only 5 targeting oil), increasing activity for a 14th week in a row, bringing the total to 834. This extends the recovery into an 11th month as operators, following crude price expectation, continue to boost spending on new production. Onshore rigs now stand at 110% above the same period a year ago.

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  • Oil Price Impacts Canada

    Oil Price Impacts Canada

    17th April 2017

    Drillers added 10 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 13th week in a row, bringing the total to 823. This extends the recovery into an 11th month as operators, following crude price, boost spending on new production.  

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  • Pricing Momentum

    Pricing Momentum

    7th April 2017

    Up 15 this week, the onshore rig count continues its seemingly relentless march forward, now totaling 813 - almost double from the 414 a year ago.  Despite the increase in shale oil drilling activities, US onshore rigs are still down over a 1,000 from their peak in November 2014.

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  • 90% Up, More Than 1,000 Down … But Only 600 To Go !

    90% Up, More Than 1,000 Down … But Only 600 To Go !

    31st March 2017

    The US onshore rig count continued its relentless upward (so far) march, adding 11 this week, now totaling 798 and approximately 90% above the 420 a year ago.  While positive for activity, and the highest since the end of 3Q 2015, it is still more than 1,000 rigs down from the heady days of 2013-2014.  However, not only will that peak never be achieved again, it is not necessary.  Since the crash the industry is getting about 30% more production per rig employed.  So, 800 is really closer to 1,200.  Thus only 600 more to go ... 

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  • Upwards and Onwards

    Upwards and Onwards

    27th March 2017

    Déjà vu; up 22 this week, the onshore rig count has now gained 53 rigs in the first three weeks of March, bringing the total to 787 - 82% up from last year’s 432.  This is the 37th increase in 39 weeks.  It appears that shale producers are committed to increasing US crude production across all major basins. 

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  • Fortitude!

    Fortitude!

    17th March 2017

    Up 22 this week, the onshore rig count marches forward, now totaling 765 - approximately 72% more than the 446 a year ago.  This is the 36th increase in 38 weeks. US drillers average a weekly gain of ~7.5 rigs, doubling (up 315) the total oil rigs over the past 42 weeks.

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  • Fundamentals are Improving?

    Fundamentals are Improving?

    10th March 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to move upward, 9 this week and posting its 18th increase in 19 weeks. This brings the total to 743, approximately 65% above the 450 a year ago. US drillers have added a total of 301 oil rigs in 38 of the past 41 weeks, averaging a weekly gain of ~7.3 rigs. But, the rate of climb for oil rigs is beginning to slow.

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  • Price or Market Share

    Price or Market Share

    3rd March 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to rise, albeit just barely, up 1 this week and posting its 17th increase in 18 weeks. This brings the total to 734, approximately 60% above the 463 a year ago. US drillers have added a total of 293 oil rigs in 37 of the past 40 weeks, averaging a weekly gain of ~7.3 rigs.

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  • An Age of Abundance

    An Age of Abundance

    24th February 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to rise, albeit only just, up 3 this week and posting its 16th increase in 17 weeks. This brings the total to 733, approximately 60% above the 473 a year ago. US drillers have added a total of 286 oil rigs in 36 of the past 39 weeks.

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  • Record US Crude Oil Inventories

    Record US Crude Oil Inventories

    17th February 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to rise, up 13 this week, posting its 15th increase in 16 weeks. This brings the total to 730, approximately 50% (243) above the 487 a year ago. US drillers have added a total of 279 oil rigs in 35 of the past 39 weeks.

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  • Despite Large Stock Build, Prices Hold

    Despite Large Stock Build, Prices Hold

    10th February 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to rise, up 12 this week, posting its 14th increase in 15 weeks; this brings the total to 717; onshore rigs are 203 (~40%) above the 514 a year ago.

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  • LNG by Rail? Crude Price Contango to End?

    LNG by Rail? Crude Price Contango to End?

    3rd February 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to rise, up 16 this week, posting its 13th increase in 14 weeks; this brings the total to 707; onshore rigs are 162 (~30%) above the 545 a year ago.

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  • No Free Lunches

    No Free Lunches

    27th January 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to rise, up 17 this week, posting its 12th increase in 13 weeks; this brings the total to 691, a hundred (~17%) above the 591 a year ago. Shale oil, which is driven by market forces, continues to respond to market price signals. Given the weekly rig count data trend (up), US shale oil explorers expect oil prices to remain firm at current levels.  

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  • Traditional Pillars of Gas Demand Fading Rapidly

    Traditional Pillars of Gas Demand Fading Rapidly

    20th January 2017

    The onshore rig count reversed and swelled 36 this week, the largest weekly increase since mid-2011. This brings the total to 670, sixty three (~10%) above the 607 a year ago. US shale drilling is coming back; production has increased 460,000 barrels per day, 5.4%, in the last six months after falling 600,000 barrels per day in the first half of last year.  

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  • Rigs down – jam now expected tomorrow ?

    Rigs down – jam now expected tomorrow ?

    13th January 2017

    Cold weather/maintenance supporting gas pricing

    The onshore rig count decreased 7 this week bringing the total down to 634, but still ten above the 624 a year ago.  After ten straight weeks of adding onshore rigs, operators could be taking a breather and hoping that the OPEC production cut agreement will sustain and perhaps grow further recent price rises, providing better returns tomorrow. With a WTI price perhaps above US$55 being required to provide the cash flow for additional incremental rigs above today’s level, a key indicator to watch will be operators’ 2017 capital budget forecasts.   

    Meanwhile, the EIA raised their short term (Q1 17) gas forecast to US$3.65 amid continued volatility in the NYMEX strip.

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  • Ship Shape in 2017:  Older LNG carriers to the rescue

    Ship Shape in 2017:  Older LNG carriers to the rescue

    6th January 2017

    2017 brings with it both challenges and opportunities for the natural gas sector, which was summarized in December.  In short, GCA expects that the global gas market, of which North America is now a fully paid up member, will be driven by three main factors this year which will significantly influence every gas related investment decision, whether it be drilling in the Haynesville or building a Methanol plant in Africa.  These reflect the impact on prices of the current over-supply situation, the emergence of new thinking, players and opportunities in the LNG market (buyers and producers), and a spike in the conversion of older LNG carriers into regas (and power generating) units.

    Onshore in the US, the rig count increased 6 this week bringing the total to 641, four above the 637 a year ago.  This represents an average gain of 2% per week over the past ten weeks, a trend that should continue with WTI above US$50 per barrel.  

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  • End of year weekly recap

    End of year weekly recap

    30th December 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 7; the seventh weekly gain in a row, bringing the total to 635, down by only 5% on the 672 of a year ago.

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  • Warm Holiday Wishes and a Brief look at 2016/2017

    Warm Holiday Wishes and a Brief look at 2016/2017

    23rd December 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 13 again this week, bringing the total to 628, down less than 10% on the 676 a year ago.

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  • OPEC Crafts Production Deficit for 2017 – But with a 2018 Production Bounce?

    OPEC Crafts Production Deficit for 2017 – But with a 2018 Production Bounce?

    16th December 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 13 this week, bringing the total to 615, now down less than 10% on the 685 a year ago.  Energy companies extended their recovery into an eight month this week as they continued to add rigs targeting oil as crude prices firmed above WTI US$50, albeit declining steadily across the week as the exuberance of a week ago waned a little. Drillers added 12 oil rigs; bring the total to 510 compared to 541 a year ago. 

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  • Ignition: US sparks a revolution in gas

    Ignition: US sparks a revolution in gas

    9th December 2016

    The onshore rig count surged 27 (5%) this week, bringing the total to 602 compared with 686 a year ago (down 13%), but up ~56% since the low in late May 2016. Rigs targeting oil jumped 21(4%), standing at 498, up 60% (183) since May.

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  • OPEC Agrees to Cut Production

    OPEC Agrees to Cut Production

    2nd December 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 5 this week, bringing the total to 570 compared with 714 a year ago (down 20%), but up over 50% since the low in late May 2016. Rigs targeting oil increased 3, standing at 474, up 49 % (158) since May.

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  • U.S. Gas Production set to Increase

    U.S. Gas Production set to Increase

    28th November 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 5 this week, bringing the total to 570 compared with 714 a year ago (down 20%), but up ~51% since the low in late May 2016. Rigs targeting oil increased 3, standing at 474, up 49 % (158) since May.

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  • Policy Changes On The Horizon ?

    Policy Changes On The Horizon ?

    18th November 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 18 this week, bringing the total to 565 compared with 727 a year ago (down 22%), but up ~50% since the low in late May 2016. Rigs targeting oil increased 19, standing at 471, up 49 % (155) since May. Of the extra 19 oil rigs, 58% (11 rigs) mobilized to the Permian Basin areas. 

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  • EIA Increase In Oil Production Just A ‘Correction’

    EIA Increase In Oil Production Just A ‘Correction’

    11th November 2016

    The onshore rig count decreased 1 this week, bringing the total to 547 compared with 734 a year ago. Rigs targeting oil increased 2, standing at 452, up 42 % (136) since bottoming out six months ago in late May. Rigs targeting gas decreased 2, bringing the total to 115, compared with 193 a year ago. 

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  • U.S. Crude Imports Surge 30%

    U.S. Crude Imports Surge 30%

    4th November 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 13 this week, bringing the total to 548 compared with 739 a year ago. Rigs targeting oil increased 9, standing at 450, up 42 % (134) since bottoming out six months ago in late May. Rigs targeting gas increased 3, bringing the total to 117, compared with 199 a year ago. 

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  • Surprise US Inventory Decline

    Surprise US Inventory Decline

    28th October 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 5 this week, bringing the total to 535 compared with 738 a year ago. Rigs targeting oil dropped 2, now standing at 441, up 40 %( 125) since bottoming out five months ago in late May. Rigs targeting gas increased 6, bring the total to 114, compared with 197 a year ago. 

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  • Producers May Emerge Stronger

    Producers May Emerge Stronger

    21st October 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 14 (11 targeting oil) this week, bringing the total to 530 compared with 749 a year ago. Rigs targeting oil added 11, standing at 443, up 40% (127) since bottoming out five months ago in late May.

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  • Show the Production Cuts

    Show the Production Cuts

    14th October 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 15 (11 targeting gas) this week, bringing the total to 516 compared with 751 a year ago. Rigs targeting oil added 4, standing at 432, up 37% (116) since bottoming out the week of May 22.

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  • U.S. Crude Import Growth

    U.S. Crude Import Growth

    7th October 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 1, bringing the total to 501 compared with 763 a year ago. Rigs targeting oil added 3, standing at 428, up 35% (112) since bottoming out the week of May 22.

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  • Production Restraint Desired

    Production Restraint Desired

    30th September 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 9 (4 targeting gas), bringing the total to 500 compared with 779 a year ago. Rigs targeting oil added 7, standing at 425, up 35% (109) since bottoming out the week of May 22.

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  • Swelling Production Governs

    Swelling Production Governs

    23rd September 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 5 (3 targeting gas), bringing the total to 491 compared with 805 a year ago. Rigs targeting oil added 2, standing at 418, up 32% (102) since bottoming out the week of May 22.

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  • Production to Exceed Demand Growth

    Production to Exceed Demand Growth

    16th September 2016

    The onshore rig count decreased 4, bringing the total to 486 compared with 811 a year ago. The Permian continued its dominance in adding rigs (up 2), and now stands at 202 (all targeting oil). Rigs targeting oil added 2, standing at 416, up 32% (100) since bottoming out the week of May 22.

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  • Post 2017 Observation

    Post 2017 Observation

    9th September 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 3 (none targeting oil) for a fifteen week gain of 110 rigs (up ~30% since mid-May).  The Permian reversed its trend of adding rigs (down 2) and now stands at 200 (all targeting oil).

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  • Market Forces Continue to Prevail

    Market Forces Continue to Prevail

    2nd September 2016

    The onshore rig count increased 15 (7 targeting oil), after a single week decline, for a fourteen week gain of 107 rigs (up 28% since mid-May).  

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  • Production Stalling Out

    Production Stalling Out

    26th August 2016

    The onshore rig count reversed direction after 8 weeks of increases, but down only 1 rig, for a thirteen week gain of 92 rigs (up 25% since mid-May).  Against this the Permian continued its trend of adding oil rigs (plus 3), and now stands at 199.  Rigs targeting oil remained flat at 406, up 28% (90) since bottoming out the week of 22 May.

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  • Output Freeze, Act II

    Output Freeze, Act II

    19th August 2016

    The onshore rig count continued its upward march, increasing for the eighth consecutive week by adding 9.  This means that the increase over the past three months is now 25% (up 93), with the Permian again taking the lion’s share.  Rigs targeting oil now stand at 406, up 28% (90) since bottoming out the week of 22 May.

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  • Crude at Sea Moves Onshore

    Crude at Sea Moves Onshore

    12th August 2016

    The onshore rig count increased for a seventh consecutive week, adding 17, for an eleven week gain of 22% (up 84), with the Permian taking the lion’s share.  Rigs targeting oil now stand at 396, up 25% (80) since bottoming out the week of 22 May.    

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  • Oil Rigs Advancing

    Oil Rigs Advancing

    5th August 2016

    The onshore rig count increased for a sixth consecutive week, adding 3, for a ten week gain of 18% (up 67).  Rigs targeting oil now stand at 381, up 20% (65) since bottoming out the week of 22 May.

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  • Storing Problems

    Storing Problems

    29th July 2016

    The onshore rig count jumped for a fifth consecutive week, adding 1, and reflects a nine week gain of 17% (up 64). Rigs targeting oil, since bottoming out the week of 22 May has increased 18% (up 58) and now stands at 374. Rigs targeting oil in the Permian have increased ~26% (up 35) over the same time period and this area is growing its share of total U.S. crude production.

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  • First Half 2016 Assessment

    First Half 2016 Assessment

    22nd July 2016

    For a fourth consecutive week, the onshore rig count increased, jumping 4.2% this week (up 18) and reflects an eight week gain of 16.6% (up 63). Rigs targeting oil, since bottoming out the week of 22 May has increased 17.4 %( up 55) and now stands at 371.

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  • Early Stage of Sustainable Recovery

    Early Stage of Sustainable Recovery

    15th July 2016

    The onshore rig count continues to show positive gains, adding 4, and reflects a seven week gain of 45. Rigs targeting oil, since bottoming out the week of 22 May has increased by 41 and now stands at 357.

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  • Oil Rigs are Moving Up.

    Oil Rigs are Moving Up.

    8th July 2016

    The onshore rig count continues to move up, adding 9, and reflects a six week gain of 41. Oil rigs are up significantly by 21 the past two weeks; increasing to 351 from 330, a growth of 6%. Perhaps operators are providing an early signal that they see the need to increase or at least maintain, future US crude production.

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  • Oil Enjoyed a Great 2nd Quarter.

    Oil Enjoyed a Great 2nd Quarter.

    1st July 2016

    The onshore rig count reversed, adding 12 rigs, and reflects a five week gain of 32.  Total rig count now stands at 431 and with WTI trading in the US$47-$50 per barrel range the past seven weeks, rig count has bottomed.

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  • Crude Imports Surge and Constrain Inventory Drawdown

    Crude Imports Surge and Constrain Inventory Drawdown

    24th June 2016

    The onshore rig count reversed a three week winning trend, falling by 3, although it still reflects a four week gain of 20.  Total rig count now stands at 421 and with WTI trading in the US$45-$50 per barrel range over the past 5 weeks; a small dip should not be seen as overly negative.

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  • Demand Trumps Supply Decline

    Demand Trumps Supply Decline

    17th June 2016

    For the third week running the onshore rig count increased; this time by 10, for a three week total of 23 rigs added. By adding rigs operators would appear to be indicating that they believe in the $50 oil scenario and that, for some of them at least, this can work.

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  • Drawing a Trend from 2 Data Points …

    Drawing a Trend from 2 Data Points …

    10th June 2016

    For the second week running the onshore rig count increased; this time by 6, for a two week total of 13 rigs added.  With oil having traded above US$50 per barrel all week, there is a feeling that the decline in rigs has ended.  Sustaining oil price above US$50 per barrel will be important in cementing confidence in the market, but if this can be sustained for a while longer then expect more operators to return to the drill pads.  The spectre at this feast is Q2 2015, where even higher prices offered hope but in reality presaged nothing but more misery.  However, fundamentals are better now, and … 

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  • STATUS QUO FROM OPEC MEETING

    STATUS QUO FROM OPEC MEETING

    3rd June 2016

     The onshore rig count increased this week by 7, its first uptick since August 2015. With oil hovering around $50 per barrel, could life be set to return to U.S. onshore oil fields?  It may still be too early to call, but last week’s onshore rig count may have seen the bottom. 

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  • Crude Pierced $50 per Barrel; Turning on Supply is the Fear.

    Crude Pierced $50 per Barrel; Turning on Supply is the Fear.

    27th May 2016

    The onshore rig count was flat this week.  Crude price moved above $50 per barrel briefly; the rig bloodletting could be over and a period of stability starting. However, rig flat lining will not halt crude production decline immediately. 

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  • Crude Supply Disruptions Persist; Excess Crude Stock Fills the Gap

    Crude Supply Disruptions Persist; Excess Crude Stock Fills the Gap

    20th May 2016

    The onshore rig count declined this week, down 4 (1%).  Crude price struggle to break above $50 per barrel; rigs maintain their decline.

    Wildfires in Canada have shut down some oil sands sites and reduced Canadian production by at least one million barrels of oil a day, or about 40% of the country's total oil sands output.  It is estimated that crude production in Canada would drop by 860,000 b/d in May; in the short term, Canada can draw down its crude oil inventories to supply its customers - the largest being the U.S. refineries.       

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  • Crude Market Supply and Demand Balance is on the Mend, Despite OPEC Pumping More Oil in April.

    Crude Market Supply and Demand Balance is on the Mend, Despite OPEC Pumping More Oil in April.

    13th May 2016

    The onshore rig count declined this week, down 7 (2%). Although crude price is trending up and closing in on $50 per barrel, LTO operators are being prudent and removed more rigs off the well pads.

    U.S. oil prices hit a six-month high, supported by data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) showing tightening supply and strong demand growth.

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  • A Sign of the Times, Oil Price Surged in Response to Canadian Wildfires then Fell

    A Sign of the Times, Oil Price Surged in Response to Canadian Wildfires then Fell

    6th May 2016

    Overall, the onshore rig count declined this week, down 4 (1%) while conversely, across the three major oil basins, rigs reversed a six-week decline trend and increased by 1.  This begs the question: have recent oil price increases been enough to bring optimism for the future?  The outlook for commodity prices is improving and Halliburton’s CEO indicated this week that in his view the U.S. rig count may have bottomed out and will likely start to rise later this year.

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  • Confidence, Not Instant Gratification, Is What Is Required

    Confidence, Not Instant Gratification, Is What Is Required

    29th April 2016

    The onshore rig count declined this week, down 10 (3%).  While oil prices have continued to respond to the diminishing oversupply, price still remains too low - or has not been rising for long enough - to halt the decline in rigs.

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  • (As Always) Crude Price is Reacting to Supply and Demand Fundamentals

    (As Always) Crude Price is Reacting to Supply and Demand Fundamentals

    22nd April 2016

    The onshore rig count declined this week, down 7 (2%).  While oil prices have been responding to the diminishing oversupply in the market, the current oil price is still too low to halt the decline in rigs.  Despite the news out of Doha on Sunday which, as expected, caused the oil price to stutter, it continued to firm by adding US$3-4 per barrel during the week.  This principally reflects the strengthening focus on falling non-OPEC production, helping rebalance a market dogged by oversupply. 

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  • Oil Glut Is Diminishing: When – Not If – Will U.S. LTO Production Respond?

    Oil Glut Is Diminishing: When – Not If – Will U.S. LTO Production Respond?

    15th April 2016

    The onshore rig count continued its ongoing decline this week, down 6 (1.5%).  However, with oil prices having rallied in response both to the diminishing oversupply and signals ahead of the Doha meeting, it begs the question as to when will rig decline stop and (subsequently) production growth return?

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  • U.S. Supply Is A Better Price Guide Than ‘Freeze’ Talks

    U.S. Supply Is A Better Price Guide Than ‘Freeze’ Talks

    8th April 2016

    The onshore rig count continued its decline this week, albeit slightly slower and falling 6 (1.5%). We also made a triple play with onshore oil rigs, crude production, and crude inventory all declining during the same week.

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  • Turning Round A Supertanker … It Ain’t That Quick!

    Turning Round A Supertanker … It Ain’t That Quick!

    1st April 2016

    The onshore rig count saw another significant decline this week, down 12 (3%).  However, in the three key oil basins (Eagle Ford, Permian, and Williston), the drop was only 2 (net) oil rigs.

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  • Capitulation by Light Tight Oil Operators as Rig Count Continues Its Descent

    Capitulation by Light Tight Oil Operators as Rig Count Continues Its Descent

    24th March 2016

    The onshore rig count saw a significant decline this week, down 13 (3%).  In the three key oil basins (Eagle Ford, Permian, and Williston) there were 8 fewer oil rigs, answering the question as to whether last week was the bottom.  (Answer: not yet.)

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  • Bottoms Up!  But The Glass Will Refill More Slowly Than Some May Think …

    Bottoms Up!  But The Glass Will Refill More Slowly Than Some May Think …

    18th March 2016

    While the onshore rig count continued to decline, it slowed considerably this week, down 4 (1%). In the three key oil basins (Eagle Ford, Permian, and Williston) the combined trend reversed and increased by 2 oil rigs, raising the question as to whether last week has seen the bottom – for now at least.

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  • U.S. Crude to Decline to ~8.2 MMBbl/d in 2017; Steep Drop from Record ~9.7 MMBbl/d in April 2014

    U.S. Crude to Decline to ~8.2 MMBbl/d in 2017; Steep Drop from Record ~9.7 MMBbl/d in April 2014

    11th March 2016

    The onshore rig count continued to decline this week, down 13 (3%), despite WTI trending higher and Brent trading above US$40 per barrel for the first time this year.  In the three key oil basins (Eagle Ford, Permian, and Williston) the decline was 10 oil rigs (a 4.2% decline).

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  • U.S. Production and Rigs Decline while Crude Price Trends Higher

    U.S. Production and Rigs Decline while Crude Price Trends Higher

    4th March 2016

    The onshore rig count continued to decline this week, despite the WTI price trending higher.  Overall rig count was down 10 (2%), while in the three key oil basins (Eagle Ford, Permian, and Williston) the decline was 10 oil rigs (a 4% decline).

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  • Saudi Arabia’s View ... Only the Strong Survive

    Saudi Arabia’s View ... Only the Strong Survive

    26th February 2016

    The onshore rig count continued to decline this week -- albeit at a slower rate -- down 14 (3%).  In the three key oil basins (Eagle Ford, Permian, and Williston), the decline was 9 oil rigs (a 4% decline).

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  • “The Invisible Hand” or an OPEC Deal ... Which One Will Govern Oil Supply?

    “The Invisible Hand” or an OPEC Deal ... Which One Will Govern Oil Supply?

    19th February 2016

    The onshore rig count saw another significant decline this week, down 27 (5%) as U.S. light tight oil (LTO) operators continue to slash their 2016 capital budgets and rigs are taken off the well pad.  In the three key oil basins (Eagle Ford, Permian, and Williston), the decline was 14 oil rigs (a 5% decline).  Over the past three weeks, onshore rig count has declined by 103, an average of 34 rigs per week.

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  • It’s Ugly Out There (Again!) …Despite Low and Declining Prices, LTO Operators Continue Drilling

    It’s Ugly Out There (Again!) …Despite Low and Declining Prices, LTO Operators Continue Drilling

    12th February 2016

    The onshore rig count saw another significant decline this week, down 30 (6%) as light tight oil (LTO) operator cash flows shrink and rigs are taken off the well pad.  In the three key oil basins (Eagle Ford, Permian, and Williston), the drop was 13 oil rigs (a 5% decline).

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  • U.S. LTO Production ... Will It Grow or Stagnate?

    U.S. LTO Production ... Will It Grow or Stagnate?

    5th February 2016

    The onshore rig count saw a significant decline this week, down 46 (8%) as price continues to hammer light tight oil (LTO) operator cash flows.  However, in the three key oil basins (Eagle Ford, Permian, and Williston), the decline was 10 oil rigs (a 3% decline).

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  • Bakken Gets Squeezed By Low Oil Price

    Bakken Gets Squeezed By Low Oil Price

    29th January 2016

    The onshore rig count decline of 17 this week, 16 in the Permian Basin, continues to indicate the damage being inflicted on the LTO operator Balance Sheets.  With cash flow being hammered by current low price, the Permian and Williston rigs are down ~10% the past four weeks and Eagle Ford down 3% in the same time period.

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  • Sorry to Say ... But Ugly Continues

    Sorry to Say ... But Ugly Continues

    22nd January 2016

    The onshore rig count decline of 16 this week, a decline of 50 in 2016 alone, and a decline of 137 in the past three months, highlights the extreme pressure that the latest fall in oil prices is having on U.S. activity.  Rigs targeting oil declined 5 this week (23 in 2016 and 79 in the past three months).  U.S. LTO operators continue to focus on their very best areas to drill and laydown rigs in small bites weekly, with at least one significant operator announcing this week that it does not plan any wells at all in 2016.

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  • Still Ugly …

    Still Ugly …

    15th January 2016

    The onshore rig count declined 13 this week.  Despite oil tumbling below US$30 a barrel on Friday, rigs targeting oil increased by 2.  U.S. LTO operators continue to withstand low prices and focus on their best areas to drill.

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  • Ugly Start To 2016

    Ugly Start To 2016

    8th January 2016

    The onshore rig count decided to mirror the oil price this week, declining 6% (down 36), with rigs targeting oil declining 4% (down 19).  A decline of this size was last seen during the first week of December 2015.  WTI ended the week at under US$33 a barrel (down 11%), a price level not seen since 2002.  Notwithstanding, U.S. production refuses to be flattened by low price pressures and the continued rig decline, with EIA data indicating that 55,000 barrels per day was added over the past four-week period.

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  • Onshore Rig Decline Slows ... Storage Business Booming

    Onshore Rig Decline Slows ... Storage Business Booming

    31st December 2015

    The onshore rig count declined this week, down just 3, with Permian adding 5 oil rigs last week.  The average decline over the past 18 weeks stands at 8 rigs per week, an indication that the rig decline rate is diminishing and this may well slow LTO production decline in 2016.

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  • WTI Trades Above Brent ... Oil Rigs Continue to Decline

    WTI Trades Above Brent ... Oil Rigs Continue to Decline

    23rd December 2015

    The onshore rig count declined further this week, down 8 and looks to be facing continued pressure into 2016 as operators are forced to reduce capital spending.

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  • Outlook for U.S. LTO ProDUCtion In 2016

    Outlook for U.S. LTO ProDUCtion In 2016

    18th December 2015

    2015 has certainly been a tumultuous year for the oil and gas industry.  The year started with a crash, and is ending even deeper in the hole.  What has that meant for U.S. light tight oil (LTO), and what is the outlook for production?

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  • Oil Price a Dagger through the Heart? … Down 10% and Rigs Down 21

    Oil Price a Dagger through the Heart? … Down 10% and Rigs Down 21

    11th December 2015

    Last week, GCA’s unconventional basin model indicated that rig count would have to fall a further 60% for end 2016 LTO production to fall to 3 million barrels per day.

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  • OPEC Signs Off On A Tough 2016 ... Crude Imports Surge

    OPEC Signs Off On A Tough 2016 ... Crude Imports Surge

    4th December 2015

    The U.S. onshore rig count declined further this week, down 2 and looks to face continued pressure into 2016.  The OPEC meeting both confirmed no near-term move to cut, and that output is now officially 1.5 million barrels per day higher (now 31.5 million barrels per day), which is what everyone thought it was anyway.

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  • Oil Rigs Decline ... Cushing Adds Barrels

    Oil Rigs Decline ... Cushing Adds Barrels

    27th November 2015

    The U.S. onshore rig count continued lower, down 13 this week.  Eagle Ford and Bakken oil rigs are currently holding just above 60 with the Permian at 214, shedding 12 oil rigs in November.  

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  • All Steady … In Decline

    All Steady … In Decline

    20th November 2015

    The U.S. onshore rig count continued its march lower, down 6 this week, while WTI fell below US$40 for the first time since August on Wednesday before recovering back above US$41.  The economics of LTO at this pricing point, coupled with financing constraints, suggests that a continued slow but steady decline in activity is likely unless price signals change – something most industry players are not planning for in the short term.

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  • As Crude Prices Decline … U.S. Imports Increase

    As Crude Prices Decline … U.S. Imports Increase

    13th November 2015

    The U.S. onshore rig count continued lower, down 5 this week.  With WTI hovering just above US$40 per barrel and the slow pace of weekly rig releases, onshore operators are striving to survive the lower for longer oil market.  

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  • Weak Demand ... Crude Inventories Increase

    Weak Demand ... Crude Inventories Increase

    6th November 2015

    The U.S. onshore rig count continued lower this week, down 2, providing little to no impact on the U.S. production decline rate.  

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  • U.S. Oil Imports Rise … Rigs Decline 9 Weeks!

    U.S. Oil Imports Rise … Rigs Decline 9 Weeks!

    30th October 2015

    The U.S. onshore rig count continued lower this week, down 10, while horizontal rigs declined by 30, leaving about 40% working from a year ago. 

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  • U.S. Onshore Drilling Productivity Slows ... Onshore Rig Release Slows Too!

    U.S. Onshore Drilling Productivity Slows ... Onshore Rig Release Slows Too!

    23rd October 2015

    The U.S. onshore rig count continued lower this week, releasing 2 more rigs for a nine-week decline of 101.  Is this the bottom of the latest rig count adjustment?  With oil prices not moving significantly one way or the other, this would seem to be at least a temporary equilibrium. 

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  • U.S. Refinery Input Declines … Crude Oversupply Remains!

    U.S. Refinery Input Declines … Crude Oversupply Remains!

    16th October 2015

    The U.S. onshore rig count continued lower this week, releasing 9 more rigs for an eight-week decline of 99.  With the current decline trend, operators could release an additional 100+ onshore rigs before the end of the year.

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  • Oil Rig Decline Continues ... Beware of Oil’s “Dead Cat Bounce”!

    Oil Rig Decline Continues ... Beware of Oil’s “Dead Cat Bounce”!

    9th October 2015

    The U.S. onshore rig count continued its deep dive this week, releasing 16 more rigs for a seven-week decline of 90.

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  • Rig Count Doesn’t So Much Decline … As Plummet!

    Rig Count Doesn’t So Much Decline … As Plummet!

    2nd October 2015

    The U.S. onshore rig count took a dive this week, releasing 26 more rigs for a six-week decline of 74.  The latest EIA data release shows LTO production slipping a further 56,000 barrels per day in July, taking the four month decline to over 300,000 barrels of oil per day.  The news hitting the market also caused the oil price to jump by more than a dollar.

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  • Steady As She Goes … Down

    Steady As She Goes … Down

    25th September 2015

    The U.S. onshore rig count continued its slow but steady downward slide, releasing 6 more rigs this week for a five-week total of 48.  The total number of active rigs now stands at 805, down 1,071 (57%) from a November 2014 high of 1,876.  Across the three major unconventional basins, the oil rig total declined to 388 (down 7 last week), with Eagle Ford and Permian down 3 each, and Williston down 1.  Horizontal rigs decreased by 11, bring the total number to 629.

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  • Not All Rigs Released are Equal … The Ones Today Impact Future Production More!

    Not All Rigs Released are Equal … The Ones Today Impact Future Production More!

    18th September 2015

    The downward rebasing of the onshore rig fleet continued this week, taking the four-week declining streak to 42 (6 more) and leaving the total number of active rigs at 811, a new low (15 below the mid-2015 level and 18 below that recorded in May 2009).  Overall, it is now down 1,065 (57%) from a November 2014 high of 1,876.

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  • Death by 1,059 Cuts … U.S. Oil Production Really Is Declining!

    Death by 1,059 Cuts … U.S. Oil Production Really Is Declining!

    11th September 2015

    The downward rebasing of the onshore rig fleet continued this week, taking the two-week decline to 30 (14 more) and leaving the total number of active rigs at 817, a new low (9 below the mid-July 2015 level and 12 below that recorded in May 2009).  Overall, it is now down 1,059 (56%) from a November 2014 high of 1,876.

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  • Prediction is Very Difficult, Particularly When it Involves the Future*

    Prediction is Very Difficult, Particularly When it Involves the Future*

    4th September 2015

    While oil prices continued their gyration this week (Brent trading in the range US$47 to US$54 per barrel; WTI in the range US$42 to US$49, the onshore rig count resumed its decline, decreasing by 16 and now standing at 831.  That is down 1,045 (56%) from a November 2014 high of 1,876, but still up 2 from its June 2015 low.

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  • Another Week this Year Not for the Faint of Heart …

    Another Week this Year Not for the Faint of Heart …

    28th August 2015

    While oil prices gyrated this week due to China growth concerns and U.S. gasoline consumption, the onshore rig count declined for the first time in 4 weeks, decreasing by 6 and now standing at 848.  That is down 1,016 (54%) from a November 2014 high of 1,876, but up 18 (3%) from its June 2015 low.

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  • Déjà vu … All Over Again

    Déjà vu … All Over Again

    21st August 2015

    While oil price headed down further this week, apparently spooked by U.S. storage and refining numbers, the onshore rig count continued its (4-week) slow rise, increasing by 5 and now standing at 854.  That is down 1,022 (54%) from a November 2014 high of 1,876, but up 24 (3%) from its June 2015 low.

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  • OPEC Crude Production Hits 31.7 million bopd ... Glut to Continue into 2016?

    OPEC Crude Production Hits 31.7 million bopd ... Glut to Continue into 2016?

    14th August 2015

    While oil price drifted down further this week, the onshore rig count increased by another 3 and now stands at 849.  That is down 1,027 (55%) from a November 2014 high of 1,876, but up 19 from the June 2015 low of 830 despite oil having lost 25% of its value in the interim.

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  • U.S. Demand Responds while Production is Resilient to Decline … Are Current Prices Sustainable?

    U.S. Demand Responds while Production is Resilient to Decline … Are Current Prices Sustainable?

    7th August 2015

    After last week’s modest decline of onshore rigs, the number of active onshore oil and gas rigs increased by 6 this week.  The onshore rig count now stands at 846, down 1,030 (55%) from a November 2014 high of 1,876, but up 16 from the June 2015 low of 830.  With worries about China demand and Iran perhaps getting back in the market quicker than expected, prices resumed their fall again this week, hitting US$44.20 per barrel for WTI, and US$48.78 for Brent, down 25% (ironically) from the same point in June when the rig count hit its low for the year.

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  • Rigs and Price Flat. Second Quarter Results Begin … Reflecting Fundamentals of $50-$60 Oil

    Rigs and Price Flat. Second Quarter Results Begin … Reflecting Fundamentals of $50-$60 Oil

    31st July 2015

    After last week’s big jump, the number of active onshore oil and gas rigs dropped slightly, down by 5.  However, the headline masks a continued (small) increase in the oil well count, but a larger decrease in gas wells.  The onshore rig count now stands at 840, down 1,036 (55%) from a November 2014 high of 1,876.  Prices stayed more or less flat during the week, hovering a little below US$50 per barrel for WTI, and a little above for Brent.  Of more interest this week are Second Quarter results that are starting to emerge and reflect price fundamentals.

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