State’s numbers stay level while US rig count increases after 6 months

29 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

U.S. oil and natural gas rig count rises by two.

Energy companies withdrew three rigs from oil fields this week, the smallest drop in five weeks, data showed on Friday, a sign the collapse in drilling may be coming to an end as crude prices recover after falling 60 percent from last June to March. Houston • The number of rigs drilling for oil or natural gas in Utah was unchanged this week, oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday. Nationally, there were two more operating drilling rigs —859 in total — marking the first time since December that a weekly increase has been reported. Analysts at Evercore ISI, a banking advisory firm, said in a report that they expected the rig count decline “to remain lumpy in the coming weeks,” before bottoming out most likely in the third quarter.

With American crude futures averaging around $60 a barrel since the start of May — up 40 percent from a six-year low in March — several drillers, including most recently WPX Energy in the Bakken, said they planned to return to the well pad. OPEC has continued to produce oil to retain its market share by driving out more expensive producers like U.S. shale oil drillers and to keep prices low enough to encourage demand growth. U.S. energy firms did slash spending but those cuts have not yet cut into U.S. crude production, which has averaged 9.6 million barrels a day for the past five weeks, its highest level since the early 1970s, according to government data.

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