From Staff Reports
The number of U.S. rigs drilling for oil and natural gas fell by one in the midst of a week that saw prices take their biggest weekly plunge since 2008.
Texas added four rigs to its tally, while Louisiana lost five.
In its weekly report Friday, Baker Hughes said the number of rigs seeking oil across the nation increased by one, but a two-unit decline in gas-directed rigs pushed the combined total down to 792. A year ago, it stood at 1,026.
The number of oil rigs increased by one, to 683, down from 833 a year ago. Gas rigs fell by two, to 107. That’s down from 193 a year ago.
Texas had a net gain of four rigs, pushing the state’s total to 408. That’s down from 501 in the same week a year ago. Louisiana lost five, leaving 47 standing. A year ago, its tally was 65.
New Mexico added one, to 117, and Oklahoma was unchanged at 46.
By major basin, the West Texas-New Mexico Permian added three, pushing its total to 418. South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale was unchanged at 68. The East Texas-Louisiana Haynesville Shale also was unchanged, with 43 rigs at work.
Oklahoma’s Cana Woodford added one, to 19.
The report came at the end of a week that saw an oil price war push prices down early in the week, putting oil on track for its biggest weekly loss in a dozen years.
The crash was triggered by the collapse of talks between members of the OPEC+ group. Instead of reaching a deal to cut output to mitigate the fallout from the spreading coronavirus and oversupply, producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia embarked on a war for market share and pledged to pump more.
Crude also has been roiled by turmoil across global markets, with investors uncertain if efforts by policymakers will be enough to tackle the economic impact of the virus.
Earlier in the week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported domestic oil production was down a tick to 13 million barrels per day, a level just off record highs reached in recent weeks.
That, combined with the expected flood of crude from abroad, compounded pressure on prices from other economic fallout.
By Friday afternoon, U.S. crude had managed a slight daily increase to just more than $32 per barrel in New York trading. Brent crude, the international benchmark, also was up slightly, to about $35.80 per barrel in London.