Crude prices climbed in May, as the war in Ukraine persisted. Experts predicted a drawn-out battle, which exacerbated concerns over the loss of Russian supplies, even after the war ends. WTI surged 7.4%, hitting $109.55/bbl, with Brent trading at $113.34/bbl, up 8.4% compared to April. Higher commodity prices have caused U.S. operators to slowly ramp up drilling activity, although at a slower pace than previous high price cycles. The U.S. rig count averaged 719 units in May, up 4.2% from 690 counted in April. Texas was up nine rigs to 351, and Oklahoma experienced a 14% increase to 57 units. The average rig count in May 2022 is 475 units more than the all-time low of 244 tallied during the week of Aug. 14, 2020, an increase of 195%. International activity averaged 913 rigs in April, 87 fewer than in March, due mainly to a 78-unit decline in Canada caused by spring thaw.
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