Western Canada adds 26 rigs to its weekly count

Baker Hughes’s global oil rig count, which excludes data from the USA and Canada, showed that worldwide oil rigs rose by six rigs to 684 for September 2016 compared to the previous month.Despite this week’s increase, the oil rig count is down 70 percent from its peak of 1,609 in October 2014, before oil prices began plummeting.There was a further increase in the number of rigs drilling in the Permian basin to 235 from 228 previously and, significantly, there was a small annual increase for the first time in over two years.Crude oil futures rose Friday, extending strong weekly gains after a relatively upbeat U.S. jobs report.US crude futures rose 1.2% to $51.68 a barrel, closing the week with a gain of more than 12%.That put the front-month on track for its third week of gains in a row, putting the contract up about 18% since mid- November.For the fifth consecutive week, US oil producers added more rigs – even as the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, announced plans to cut production.Data from Baker Hughes Friday revealed that the number of active US rigs drilling for oil climbed by 3 to 477 rigs this week.Analysts expect USA energy firms to boost spending on drilling and increase production in coming years with crude prices expected to continue climbing. Futures for calendar 2017 were trading around $54 a barrel, while calendar 2018 was fetching nearly $55.The Houston-based company said that three oil rigs were added, while natural gas rigs climbed by one.Last September’s production came from 181,659 oil wells and 93,176 gas wells.The total rig count is now at 587 rigs, up from an all-time low of 404 rigs in May, according to Baker Hughes. That compares with an average of 978 oil and gas rigs active in 2015, according to Baker Hughes data.