The total USA rig count rose by 15 to 939 following last week's decline of 5, according to the latest weekly survey from Baker Hughes; it is the largest increase since May.
That exceeds the 659 rigs that were active this time a year ago.
The 15 rigs added represented the largest weekly gain in BHI's domestic rig count since a gain of 16 units reported for the week ending May 19, 2017, NGI's analysis of BHI data showed. Even the relatively huge increase of 10 new land rigs this week is not pushing crude prices down.
The natural gas rig count increased by five to 187 this week. February West Texas Intermediate crude was up 15 cents, or 0.2%, from Thursday, to $63.95 a barrel, up a bit from shortly before the rig data, but well below the day's high of $64.23.
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There are now 919 land, one inland waters and 19 offshore rigs drilling in the USA, for a total of 939.
The U.S. rig count, is an early indication of future output, is significantly higher than last year's count of 522 active rigs after energy companies increased spending plans as crude began to recover from its two-year price drop.
Also among states, Colorado added two rigs, and Alaska and Utah each added one.
Among plays, the Permian Basin saw a net gain of three rigs for the week to end at 403 units, well above the 268 units running a year ago. Last week, it forecast 997 in 2018 and 1,126 in 2019.