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US Drillers Add Oil Rigs, Count Rises To 768

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for a second time in the last three weeks, extending a 15-month drilling recovery, but the pace of additions has slowed in recent months as firms cut spending plans in reaction to declining crude prices.

Drillers added three oil rigs in the week to Aug. 11, bringing the total count up to 768, the most since April 2015, Baker Hughes, a GE company, (NYSE: BHGE) said in its closely followed report on Aug. 11. That compares with 396 active oil rigs during the same week a year ago. Drillers have added rigs in 56 of the past 63 weeks since the start of June 2016.

The rig count is an early indicator of future output. U.S. production is expected to rise to 9.4 MMbbl/d in 2017 and a record 9.9 MMbbl/d in 2018 from 8.9 MMbbl/d in 2016, according to federal projections.

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