Energy firms in the United States added oil and natural gas rigs for the second consecutive week. Oil prices have recently risen to their highest point since the third quarter of 2018 which urged oil drillers to return to the well pads.
Oil and Gas Drilling Rig counts increased by four during the week of July 9 to bring total rig counts in the United States to 479. According to Baker Hughes, this is the highest rig counts have been since April 2020 and represents a nearly 86% increase compared to this time last year.
Oil prices are up 46% so far this year, last trading at $74.03/barrel, while crude production in the United States is expected to fall by 210,000 bpd (barrels per day) this year bringing production to 11.10 million bpd according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Natural gas prices have risen 41% for calendar year 2021, last trading at $3.731/dekatherm. These prices are also trading at highs not seen since late 2018. Analysts expect these prices to stay above $3/dekatherm through the end of the year, but they may trade lower next year as the EIA expects higher production output and not as a robust demand picture compared to this year.
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