Rig count hops up 12; Permian Basin again drives rise
The number of oil and gas rigs in U.S. fields rose again this week, up 12 or about 170 over the past three months.
This week’s count marks the fourth increase in a row, and a boom of more than 335 rigs since the count fell to its recent low, last spring.
U.S. oil drillers collectively sent eight more rigs into the patch this week, the Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday. Gas drillers added four.
The Permian Basin, in West Texas and New Mexico, again led the rise, adding six.
The total rig count rose to 741, up from a low of 404 in May, and up 200 rigs year over year.
The number of active oil rigs jumped to 591 this week, gas rigs to 149. The number offshore rigs dipped again, by one to 21, down four rigs year over year.
Total rig counts lifted by seven in Texas, four in New Mexico, two in Louisiana, two in West Virginia and one in Pennsylvania. Ohio and Wyoming lost two each.
Drilling activity has continued to rise despite stagnating oil prices. Since February’s low of about $26 a barrel, prices have stuck above $50 for several weeks now.
U.S. oil prices settled on Thursday at $53, up 66 cents or about 1 percent, and were rising in midday trading Friday.