Saturday, September 5, 2009

Natural Gas and Oil Rig Count Up 10 Week Ending September 4, 2009

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- The number of rigs drilling for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose this week as producers ramped up activity.

The number of oil and gas rigs climbed to 1,009, up 10 from the previous week, according to rig data from oil-field services company Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI). The number of gas rigs was 701, an increase of two rigs from last week, while the oil rig count rose to 295, an increase of nine rigs. The number of miscellaneous rigs fell by one, to 13 rigs.

The number of gas rigs in use peaked at 1,606 in September. Producers have scaled back oil and gas drilling over the past several months amid falling prices, but companies are beginning to bring gas rigs back on line amid signs of economic stabilization.

Natural gas supplies still remain strong, but analysts expect the sharp decline in drilling activity over the last year eventually to bring supply back in line with demand, helping to push gas prices.

Natural gas for October delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was recently up 11.7 cents, or 4.67%, at $2.625 a million British thermal units.

-By Mark Peters, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2457;


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