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U.S. oil rigs decline by most since 2012, Baker Hughes says

LYNN DOAN and RICHARD STUBBE

HOUSTON (Bloomberg) -- Oil rigs targeting oil in the U.S. declined by 25 this week to 1,564, according to Baker Hughes Inc. The drop was the largest since December 2012.

Total rigs fell by 17 to 1,896, data posted on the company’s website show. The gas count increased by nine to 330, the Houston-based field services company said. Rigs fell the most in the Permian basin of Texas and New Mexico, dropping by three to 555.

The total energy rig count is surging in the U.S. as producers use horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to draw record volumes of oil and gas out of shale formations from North Dakota to Texas. The boom has raised domestic crude production to the highest level in 27 years and helped cut U.S. imports of oil to the lowest seasonal level since 1993.

Oil production rose 21,000 bpd, or 0.3%, in the week ended Aug. 15 to 8.58 million, Energy Information Administration data show. Output rose last month to the highest level since 1986. Oil supplies fell 4.47 MMbbl to 362.5 million.

West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery declined 60 cents, or 0.6%, to $93.36 a barrel at 1:15 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 11% in the past year.

U.S. gas stockpiles rose 88 Bcf last week to 2.555 trillion, according to the EIA. Supplies were 17.3% below the five-year average.

Natural gas for September delivery fell 4.5 cents, or 1.2%, to $3.844 per million British thermal units Aug. 22 on the Nymex, up 8.4% in the past year.

08/22/2014

 

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