Rigs targeting oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by seven this week to 1,771, according to Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI:US)
Oil rigs rose by two to 1,425, data posted on the company’s website show. The gas count advanced five to 342, the Houston-based field services company said.
The total rig count rebounded after storms that poured rain, snow and ice across the eastern half of the U.S. slowed oil- and gas-drilling operations in major basins.
“Operations in our completion and production services segment either slowed dramatically or ceased altogether in the extreme cold,” Tony Petrello, chief executive officer of Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR:US), the world’s largest land-rig contractor, said in a conference call with analysts Feb. 19.
U.S. oil output climbed for a second straight week in the seven days ended Feb. 14, adding 16,000 barrels a day, or 0.2 percent, to 8.15 million, data compiled by the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical arm, show. Crude stockpiles rose 973,000 barrels to 362.3 million.
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery fell 42 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $102.33 a barrel at 1:08 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 10 percent in the past year.
U.S. gas stockpiles dropped 250 billion cubic feet last week to 1.443 trillion, EIA data show. Supplies were a record 34 percent below the five-year average and 40 percent below year-earlier levels.
Natural gas for March delivery gained 6 cents, or 1 percent, to $6.124 per million British thermal units on the Nymex and has surged 89 percent in the past year.
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