U.S. oil and natural gas producers added a total of 12 rigs over the past week, Baker Hughes (BHI) reported on Friday, March 10.
Oil producers added eight rigs to bring the count to 617, while the natural gas rig count rose by five to 151 and miscellaneous rigs fell by one.
The overall U.S. rig count now sits at 768, up 288 rigs from this time last year when the count stood at 490, the Houston-based oilfield services provider said.
Oil rigs are up 231 and natural gas rigs are up 57 in the past year.
Meanwhile, the offshore rig count has come up a bit after several stagnant weeks, adding two rigs to a total count of 20. The offshore rig count is still down seven rigs year-over-year.
For once, it was not West Texas' Permian Basin that saw the greatest uptick in rigs week-over-week, as the Denver-Julesburg Basin in the Rocky Mountains region saw an addition of four rigs this week. The Permian saw an increase of one rig, while the Haynesville Shale in south Texas saw an addition of two units.
Oil prices have retreated below $50 per barrel this week as traders are finally beginning to fear a persisting glut in commodities.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency reported on Wednesday that U.S. crude stockpiles grew by more than 8 million barrels during the week ended March 3.
A drop in oil prices could lead some producers to stall production activity increases in the near future. But thus far in 2017, bearish data from the EIA has not dampened U.S. shale operators' enthusiasm for drilling after a two-year period of cutting costs and idling production.