From the September installment of the ASA Advisor prepared monthly for American Supply Association members by ITR Economics, the average North American Rotary Rig Count was 31.8% higher during the 12 months through August than last year, ITR reports.

ITR is predicting rig counts will not return to the pre-2015 oil price slide level. ITR expects the rig count to vacillate around the current level into 2019, its report states.

In other tidbits from the September ASA Advisor, a reader asked if the damage from the two recent major hurricanes to hit the U.S. will have a macroeconomic effect on the U.S. economy. ITR’s Ben Thompson responded by saying the firm’s analysis is “there will be no prolonged change to the macroeconomy or the oil and gas industry.”

In terms of oil futures, Thompson notes they were in an accelerating trend before Harvey hit and even without Harvey, ITR’s forecast already called for price rise in 2017. Additionally, Thompson reports natural gas prices were in a decelerating growth trend before August, but that trend likely will reverse for added short-term rise, he notes.

And finally, ITR reports ASA member sales during the 12 months ending in August were 5.9% above earlier projections. ITR predicts sales will accelerate through early 2018 in line with its forecasts. ITR adds members should anticipate slowing growth in 2018 and through 2019. And albeit growing at a slower pace, ITR states, members should note a record-breaking annual sales trend through 2019.