As oil comes near $70 barrel drillers have added 106 rigs this year with the majority in Texas. The total number of oil and gas drilling rigs is up by 156 compared to last year according to data from Baker Hughes. The EIA estimates oil production in the U.S. will hold steady at around 11 million bpd. Pre-pandemic oil production reached 13.1 million bpd.
As demand for oil jumps on increased transportation, oil prices have climbed higher and producers have responded with adding more oil and gas production. The increased demand is seen as a sign of both the economy recovering and that the fear of the pandemic has begun to fade. Airlines like Delta, United and American have seen their flights go from just 5% full during the worst of the pandemic to nearly 100% full now, causing them to quickly bring aircraft out of storage and press them into service and adding more flights to meet consumer demand for travel.
Americans are driving more also. During 2020, just 18% of American drove more than 500 miles from home compared to this year when 53% of Americans are expected to drive more than 500 miles from home for a vacation or event.
Demand for oil in the transportation, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, construction, roads and clothing industries is up 25% since the start of the year according to Enerdata, a global energy research firm.