U.S. adds nine oil, gas rigs in slight recovery from last week

Jan 31, 2019 2:19 PM

My San Antonio |  Erin Douglas | January 28, 2019

The U.S. added nine oil and gas rigs this week, indicating activity in the nation's shale fields may have slightly recovered after last week saw the biggest drop in total rigs since 2016.

The nation added 10 oil rigs and lost one gas rig, the Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported. Texas, home to 517 oil and gas rigs, lost four this week. New Mexico, which has 112 rigs, led the increase, adding four. In all, there were 1,059 active rigs in the U.S. this week.

Drillers pulled more than 25 oil and gas rigs out of service last week, the biggest drop since the low point of the last oil bust. Losing rigs can be a sign of slowing activity in the nation's shale fields.

A shortage of pipelines in West Texas has made it difficult to move oil from the Permian Basin -- where well over half of the oil rigs in the U.S. are situated -- forcing producers to discount prices.

Oil was up 43 cents to $53.59 per barrel Friday at 12:15 central following the report's released. The price of West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for crude prices, is up almost 18 percent this month, recovering after a disappointing Christmas week.

Uncertainty surrounding Venezuelan oil production has driven prices as of late, with President Donald Trump considering sanctions on the country's oil exports.