The number of U.S. rigs drilling for oil saw its first increase in three weeks, Baker Hughes said Friday in its weekly report.
U.S. crude oil was on track to post its second straight weekly gain Friday, largely on concerns about an expected decline in supply from Iran due to U.S. sanctions and Venezuela’s declining output.
Earlier Friday, the Houston oilfield services provider said oil drillers added two rigs in the past week, while natural gas drillers added another pair. That made the combined count 1,048. Of those, 862 were seeking oil and 184 gas.
The rig count, an early indicator of future output, is much higher than a year ago at this time, when 759 rigs were active. Energy companies have been ramping up production over the past 18 months as OPEC has tried to reduce its output.
Texas oil production fell in June from a year earlier for the first time in 16 months, according to figures released Thursday by state regulators, a fresh sign that a lack of pipeline space from West Texas may be curbing production.
The rig count tally in Texas was flat, but one-rig gains were seen in Louisiana, which now has 55 at work, Pennsylvania, with 41, and Kansas, with 1.
New Mexico and Oklahoma lost a rig apiece, to finish at 102 and 139 respectively.
By major basin, Oklahoma’s Cana Woodford was the week’s top gainer, adding two rigs to 67. The West Texas-New Mexico Permian Basin added one to 486, and another was added in the Northeast U.S.’ Marcellus Shale, which finished with 53.
The East Texas-Louisiana Haynesville Shale was flat on 49, while South Texas’ Eagle Ford lost one, to 78.
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