Declines in oil and natural gas extraction and support employment tend to lag declines in crude oil prices. As prices of North Sea Brent crude oil fell from their June 2014 level of $112 per barrel, firms reduced the number of new wells drilled and the associated workforce. The count of drilling rigs in the United States, as measured by Baker Hughes, totaled 857 for the week ending June 19, 54% below the same point a year ago and the lowest level in nearly six years.
U.S. Rig Count is down 9 rigs from last week to 859, with oil rigs down 7 to 635, gas rigs down 1 to 221, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 3. U.S. Rig Count is down 995 rigs from last year at 1854, with oil rigs down 907, gas rigs down 89, and miscellaneous rigs up 1. The U.S. Offshore rig count is 29, up 2 rigs from last week, and down 30 rigs year over year.
The expected decrease in shale oil production this summer is causing oil prices to rise. According to the Drilling Productivity report released June 8 by the Energy Information Administration, the government is calling for a 91,000 less barrels per day of shale oil in July. Oil prices seemingly rebounded after the data was released. This news comes on the heels of a decline in oil prices on June 8 due to the Chinese oil crisis concerning oversupply and less demand.
U.S crude production will dip by as many as 300,000 barrels per day until early 2016 before ramping up again, according to the Energy Information Administration’s latest short-term energy outlook.
U.S. Rig Count is down 7 rigs from last week to 868, with oil rigs down 4 to 642, gas rigs down 3 to 222, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 4.
U.S. oil production has grown rapidly in recent years. EIA data, which reflect combined production of crude oil and lease condensate, show a rise from 5.6 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2011 to 7.5 million b/d in 2013, and a record 1.2 million b/d increase to 8.7 million b/d in 2014.
U.S. shale oil producers, having weathered the worst price plunge in their industry's brief history, now face a dilemma: whether to stay in a defensive crouch after slashing their rig fleets, or start drilling more wells to capture a partial recovery in prices.
Real gross domestic product -- the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes -- decreased at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015, according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent.
An increasingly assertive China has warned that World War 3 is "inevitable" unless the United States stops meddling in the South China Sea affairs. Earlier this week, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) said in a new white paper that it is going to up the ante in the South China Sea. In a sign of its growing self-confidence, Beijing said that it would now focus less on defensive capabilities, and step up efforts to build offensive capabilities.
U.S. Rig Count is down 10 rigs from last week to 875, with oil rigs down 13 to 646, gas rigs up 3 to 225, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 4.