Oil Updates — Crude up; US drillers add oil and gas rigs for third week in four
RIYADH: Oil prices settled up by more than 5 percent on Friday amid uncertainty around future interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve, while a looming EU ban on Russian oil and the possibility of China easing some COVID restrictions supported markets.
Though fears of global recession capped gains, Brent crude futures settled up $3.99 to $98.57 per barrel, a weekly gain of 2.9 percent.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up $2.96, or 5 percent, at $92.61, a 4.7 percent weekly gain.
US drillers add oil and gas rigs for third week in four: Baker Hughes
US energy firms this week added oil and natural gas rigs for a third time in four weeks as relatively high oil prices encourage firms to drill more.
The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose 2 to 770 in the week to Nov. 4, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. said in its closely followed report on Friday.
Baker Hughes said that puts the total rig count up 220 rigs, or 40 percent, over this time last year.
US oil rigs rose 3 to 613 this week, their highest since March 2020, while gas rigs fell 1 to 155, their lowest since late July 2022.
Even though the rig count mostly increased over the past two years, weekly increases have been in the single digits in recent months and oil production remains below record levels seen before the pandemic as many companies focus more on returning money to investors and paying down debt rather than boosting output.
US crude production was on track to rise from 11.3 million barrels per day in 2021 to 11.8 million bpd in 2022 and 12.4 million bpd in 2023, according to federal energy data. That compares with a record 12.3 million bpd in 2019.
But with oil prices still up about 22 percent so far this year after soaring 55 percent in 2021 — and pressure from the government to produce more — several energy firms have said they plan to boost spending for a second year in a row in 2022 after cutting drilling and completion expenditures in 2019 and 2020.
Biden says meeting with oil companies has not been set up
US President Joe Biden said on Friday a meeting with oil companies has not been scheduled, after earlier saying he was planning to talk to the firms to complain about their record profits while gas prices remain high.