Colorado Drilling Rig Count Now At 28, Highest Since November 2015

By Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post |

Petroleum producers in Colorado put another rig to work this week, bringing the total count in the state to 28, the highest number since Thanksgiving week of 2015.

At the start of the month, there were 20 rigs active in the state, on par with the number active across much of the summer and fall. But eight rigs have joined in the search for oil and gas this month, a 40 percent increase.

The U.S. rig count rose by 16 last week to 653, but remains down 47 from the 700 rigs operating a year ago. A year ago this week, Colorado had two dozen oil and gas rigs active.

U.S. crude prices closed just above $53 a barrel Friday, a healthy premium to the prices available across much of the year. An agreement among members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other countries to lower output by 1.8 million barrels a day starting next year has lifted prices.

That in turn has left some domestic producers and their financial backers more confident about earning a return off new wells.