Drillers added four oil rigs in the week to Jan. 6, bringing the total count up to 529, the most since December 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) said on Jan. 6.

A Statoil spokesman told Reuters the company is evaluating its work in the region and that no decision has been made on whether or not to continue drilling there as an operator. 

Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO) plans to drill about 30 exploration wells in 2017, an increase of about 30% compared to 2016. More than half of the wells will be drilled on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

A good-quality reservoir was found in both wells, according to the operator, Royal Dutch Shell Plc (NYSE: RDS.A), in the press release.

Athens tendered 20 offshore blocks in 2015 in the Ionian Sea and south of the island of Crete for deepsea oil and gas drilling, and unsealed the offers in February, Reuters reported.

The Baker Hughes oil rig count plunged from a record 1,609 in October 2014 to a six-year low of 316 in May as U.S. crude collapsed from over $107 a barrel in June 2014 to near $26 in February 2016, Reuters reported.

The U.S. shale landscape has transformed itself over the last several years and has finally hit the first downcycle for many producers.

drilling, rig, Eagle Ford, oil

Until commodity prices improve and stabilize, the Eagle Ford will remain overshadowed by the high-flying Permian Basin.

The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors said a more stable U.S. benchmark crude oil price would lead to a 31% increase in the number of wells drilled to 4,665 next year from an estimated 3,562 by the end of 2016.

Rowan will supply two more rigs in late 2018 and Saudi Aramco will make a matching cash contribution, Reuters reported.

Full-scale projection requires a 890-kilometer (560-mile) pipeline, costing about $2.1 billion. The government said in October it aimed to sign a joint development deal for the pipeline soon, Reuters reported.

Drillers added two oil rigs in the week to Nov. 11, bringing the total count up to 452, the most since February, but still below the 574 rigs seen a year ago, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) said on Nov. 11.

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