Industry at a Industry at a Glance Oil and Gas Prices Production and Rig Countsglance
The average prices for benchmark crudes surged to three-month highs in March, with WTI and Brent trading at $37.40 and $38.30, respectively. Ongoing discussions between Russia and Saudi Arabia to freeze production are providing some minimal price support. However, oil stocks at Cushing, Okla., reached an all-time high of 67.5 MMbbl on March 11, indicating an imbalance in supply and demand is growing. With Russian production approaching 11 MMbopd and Saudi Arabia refusing to relinquish market share, price volatility will persist. U.S. producers continued to reduce drilling activities in the first quarter of 2016 with total footage drilled down by 73%, compared to last year. The U.S. rig count lost 53 units to average 479 in March. International activity gained two rigs with an average of 1,240 reported in February.