Despite record production from U.S. shale fields, crude prices surged in March, with WTI and Brent up 4.5% and 2.5%, respectively. Cuts by OPEC+ have helped crude gain 32% to start the year, the best first quarter in 17 years. Oil futures also gained as Russia strived to reduce output by 97,000 bopd, following criticism it was moving too slowly. U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela also removed product from the market. Worldwide offshore rig utilization was up 9.5% in March (y-o-y), and deepwater explorers indicate that a recovery is underway. Although the U.S. DUC count was up 93 wells in February, rig activity in Texas District 8, Oklahoma and New Mexico were all down in March. Overall, the U.S. rig count was down 21 units to 1,027 in March, while international activity was up 4.8% in February.