Sunday, July 18, 2010

U.S. Rig Count by 4 According to Baker Hughes

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the U.S. climbed this week, buoyed by relatively high prices for the fuel, while the oil rig count slipped.
The number of oil and gas rigs climbed to 1,571, up 4 rigs from the previous week, according to data from oil-field services company Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI). The number of gas rigs was 979, an increase of 15 rigs from last week, while the oil rig count was 580, a decline of 12 rigs. The number of miscellaneous rigs increased by one to 12 rigs.
The number of gas rigs in use peaked at 1,606 in September 2008. Producers subsequently reduced drilling activity sharply in response to low prices, but the rig count has stabilized in recent weeks as hot weather and the start of hurricane season provide support for prices.
Gas supplies, however, remain ample. Gas in U.S. storage as of July 9 totaled 2.84 trillion cubic feet, about 10.7% above the five-year average for the same week and 1.1% below last year's level for that week.
Natural gas for August delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was recently down 9.4 cents, or 2.05%, at $4.492 a million British thermal units.
-By Christine Buurma, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2143;

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