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.
Oil Drilling Activity
The total number of active onshore rigs increased to 635. When compared to a November 2014 figure of 1,876 active rigs, the current level is still massively (approximately 67%) below the 2014 high. However, compared to a year ago it is only down 5% and trending upwards, having gained two-thirds since the 2016 low of 380 in May.
Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the oil rig total increased to 337 (up 4 last week), with Eagle Ford up 1, Permian up 2 and Williston up 1.
Total U.S. rig count (including the Gulf of Mexico) stands at 658, up 5 last week, with rigs targeting oil up 2. The horizontal rig count increased to 532, up 6 last week
Brent, the global benchmark for oil, was up US$1.57 to US$56.73 a barrel, reflecting a gain of almost 3% on the week.
WTI crude rose US$0.72 to US$53.70 a barrel, up almost 1.5% on the week.
U.S. Supply and Demand
Sources: EIA Weekly Update and GCA analysis
U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 16.6 million barrels per day, with refineries at 91.0% of their operating capacity last week. This is 101,000 barrels per day less than the previous week’s average.
U.S. gasoline demand over past four weeks was at 9.0 million, down 2.8% from a year ago. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased by 12.9 million barrels last week.
On the supply side, EIA data indicated that total domestic crude production decreased 20,000 barrels to 8.766 million barrels a day. The Lower 48 crude production now stands at 8.241 million barrels per day, down 30,000 barrels a day.
U.S. crude imports averaged about 8.2 million barrels per day last week, a decrease of 304,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports averaged 8.1 million barrels per day, 2.4% above the same four-week period last year.
Crude oil inventories increased 0.6 million barrels from the previous week and remain at historically high levels. The crude stored at Cushing (the main price point for WTI) was up 0.1 million barrels; total storage is 66.4 million barrels (~74% utilization).
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