Rigs targeting oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by one this week to 1,855, according to Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI:US)
Oil rigs rose by one to 1,528, data posted on the Houston-based field services company’s website show. The gas count was unchanged at 323. Miscellaneous rigs were unchanged at four.
Energy producers are using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to draw record volumes of oil and gas out of from U.S. shale formations. The boom in drilling has helped boost the nation’s total rig count by 98 this year.
Continental Resources Inc. (CLR:US), the biggest leaseholder in the Bakken shale play of North Dakota, is “ready to shift into high gear,” with its rig count in the Antelope area of the Bakken alone adding two by the end of the year, Harold Hamm, the company’s chief executive officer, said in a conference call with analysts yesterday.
U.S. oil production slipped 2,000 barrels a day in the seven days ended May 2 to 8.35 million after reaching the highest level since 1988 last month, data compiled by the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. Department’s statistical arm, show. Oil supplies fell 1.78 million barrels to 397.6 million, according to the EIA.
West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery fell 14 cents to $100.12 a barrel at 1:17 p.m. today on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 3.9 percent in the past year.
U.S. gas stockpiles rose 74 billion cubic feet last week to 1.055 trillion, EIA data show. Supplies were 48.2 percent below the five-year average and 43 percent under year-earlier inventories.
Natural gas for June delivery fell 6.6 cents to $4.506 per million British thermal units on the Nymex and has risen 13 percent in the past year.
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