Perhaps it's time to put OPEC on notice.
After adding more than 50 rigs in the past two weeks, U.S. oil and gas producers brought another 17 rigs online this week.
The oil rig count climbed by 17, while gas producers did not bring any more rigs online, according to oilfield services giant Baker Hughes (BHI) . Including one miscellaneous rig, the overall rig count now totals 729, blowing away last year's rig count of 571.
Breaking from the pattern over the last couple of weeks, the Cana Woodford basin saw the biggest increase in rigs, adding seven in the past week. The lucrative west Texas Permian basin, which normally leads the rig count, saw the second largest build in rigs with four added this week.
The offshore rig count also grew by one this week to 22.
Two basins, however, took rigs offline, including Granite Wash Shale basin and Texas' Haynesville basin.
Following the rig count, oil prices pared earlier gains. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for March delivery was up about 0.4% to $53.74, while Brent crude futures dropped also rose 0.4%, trading at around $56.81 at 1 p.m. ET.
Prior to the report, oil prices had been extending gains following a new round of Iran sanctions. The U.S. Treasury department announced sanctions against 13 individuals and 12 entities, just hours after President Trump said OPEC's third largest producers was "playing with fire."
"WTI crude prices seem to be working their way higher in early February, yet remain about a full dollar per barrel below their most easily identifiable levels of resistance," wroteTheStreet contributor Stephen Guilfoyle. "That said, late January support has been found about a full dollar higher than was mid-month support. For that reason, I believe it likely that U.S. rigs currently in production continue their rapid increase."
Energy stocks were mostly higher during the trading session Friday. Oil majors Chevron (CVX) - Get Report and ConocoPhillips (COP) - Get Report were both in the green as was oilfield services company Halliburton (HAL) - Get Report and refiner Marathon Petroleum (MPC) - Get Report . The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) - Get Report rose by nearly 0.9%.
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