U.S. rig counts rose again for the third consecutive week last week, and Goldman Sachs analyst Damien Courvalin has updated the firms projections for oil production. Total rig count climbed by nine rigs last week, including seven additional vertical rigs and one additional horizontal rig. One directional rig also went offline.
Five vertical rigs came online in the Barnett region, while two horizontal rigs came online in the Permian region. The remaining main shale plays gained or lost no more than one rig on the week.
Assuming that the US oil rig count stays at current level, US oil production would decline by 735 kb/d between 4Q15 and 4Q16 across the Permian, Eagle Ford, Bakken and Niobrara shale plays, Courvalin explained.
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Overall annual production in 2016 would fall by 600 kb/d in 2016 and by 400 kb/d in 2017.
Should the well backlog be brought back at a slower pace between June 2016 and December 2017, we estimate that US production would decline by 590 kb/d yoy in 2016 and by 160 kb/d yoy in 2017, he added.
After hitting 13-year lows near $26/bbl in February, WTI crude oil prices reached near $52/bbl in early June before a modest pullback.
So far in 2016 the United States Oil Fund LP (ETF) (NYSE:USO) is up 7.3 percent.
Disclosure: The author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.
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