The U.S. oil rig count has now increased for 17 consecutive weeks and in 48 of the last 51 weeks since hitting a new all-time low of 316 rigs, adding a lot of additional pressure on oil prices.
This level was 80.4% lower than its all-time high of 1,609, which was hit in the week ending October 10, 2014. However, since hitting this recent all-time low of 316, the oil rig count has climbed to 712, after adding another nine oil rigs in last week's count.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Department of Energy's research arm, has reported that U.S. crude oil production averaged an estimated 8.9 million b/d in 2016.
Looking ahead, the EIA believes that U.S crude oil production is forecast to average 9.3 million b/d in 2017 and almost 10.0 million b/d in 2018, a notable jump from currently levels.
OPEC and non-OPEC producers that agreed to the original production cut deal late last year will be meeting again on May 25. So, following today's Saudi/Russia news, bulls hope that other participates in the deal will all agree on May 25 to a nine-month extension.
In current trade, June WTI crude oil is +$1.45 at $49.29/barrel.