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Rig count jumps by 15; La., N.M. add five apiece

From Staff Reports
Jan. 12, 2018 at 11:45 p.m.


The number of U.S. rigs exploring for oil and natural gas increased by 15 this week to 939, Baker Hughes said Friday in its weekly report. That's up 280 from the same week a year ago, making it the largest increase in eight months.

Louisiana and New Mexico were the big gainers, adding five rigs apiece while Texas dropped two.

The Houston oil-field services company said the number of oil rigs was up 10 and the number of gas rigs increased by five. That put the number of active oil rigs at 752, up from 522 a year ago, and gas rigs at 187, up from 136 a year ago.

The tallies have jumped along with prices, which continued to rise Friday to cap a fourth straight week of weekly gains.

U.S. crude rose 50 cents to close at $64.30 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 61 cents to close at $69.87 per barrel.

Natural gas also gained Friday, adding 12 cents to $3.20 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Despite the oil price rise, U.S. oil production dipped last week, the Energy Department said this week. After a steady climb during the fourth quarter, the first week of 2018 saw production slipping to 9.492 million barrels per day from 9.782 million in the last week of 2017.

Among other major oil- and gas-producing states, Oklahoma added three rigs this week, Colorado gained two and Alaska and Utah each increased by one.

By major basin, the West Texas-New Mexico Permian Basin was the week's big gainer, adding three rigs to 403. The East Texas-Louisiana Haynesville Shale added one to 46. South Texas' Eagle Ford Shale was flat on 70, while North Texas' Barnett Shale lost one, to five.

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