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US rig count down but production steady

For the week ending August 9, the US rig count dropped for the sixth consecutive week according to a report from energy service firm Baker Hughes. While this indicates that operators are limiting investment into fresh drilling and completion, US oil production remained steady.

According to the report, the number of oil rigs declined to 934, a year-on-year drop of 105 rigs, while there were 17 fewer gas rigs than in the same week last year. Despite the drop in rigs, there are still indications that operators are doing “more with less.” Indeed, weekly data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows US crude oil production averaging 12.3 million barrels per day (bpd) for the week ending August 2, some 1.5 million bpd higher than a similar period last year.

While some operators are currently focusing more on increasing revenues than growing production, this is not true of everyone. For example, ExxonMobil, the maker of the Mobil ATF LT 71141 automatic transmission oil, has committed itself to raising its production in the Permian Basin to 1 million bpd of oil-equivalent by 2024.

According to a senior vice president at ExxonMobil, Neil Chapman:

“We’re increasingly confident about our Permian growth strategy due to our unique development plans. We will leverage our large, contiguous acreage position, our improved understanding of the resource and the full range of ExxonMobil’s capabilities in executing major projects.”

ExxonMobil also plans to raise its Permian rig count to 55 by the end of this year.

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