U.S. natgas rig count edges up for 2nd week -Baker Hughes
The gas-directed rig count rose this week by two to 379
after posting a 14-year low of 375 two weeks ago, data from
Houston-based Baker Hughes showed on Friday.
Producers have mostly been curbing dry-gas drilling in favor
of more profitable oil and liquids-rich plays such as Eagle Ford
in Texas and Marcellus in Appalachia.
But a 40 percent run-up in spot gas prices since
mid-February, to a 21-month high of $4.429 per million British
thermal units this week, has stirred expectations that gas
output, still flowing near record highs, could increase in
U.S. Gas Rigs Drop First Time in Three Weeks, Baker Hughes Says
By Lynn Doan - Apr 26, 2013 12:15 PM CT
The number of gas rigs in the U.S. fell for the first time in three weeks, declining by 13 to 366, according to Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI)
Oil rigs increased by 10 to 1,381, data posted on Baker Hughes’ website show. Total energy rigs slipped by four to 1,754, the Houston-based field-services company said.
The U.S. gas rig count has dropped to less than a fourth of its peak of 1,606 in 2008 as energy producers abandoned natural- gas plays to drill for more lucrative crude and natural-gas liquids. The boom in tight-oil production helped the U.S. meet 84 percent of its energy needs last year, the most since 1991, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical unit.
ConocoPhillips (COP), the largest independent U.S. oil and natural gas producer, has no plans to start “redirecting any capital toward gas assets until it’s significantly north of current prices,” Matthew Fox, an executive vice president at the Houston-based company, said in a conference call with investors yesterday.
The company’s fuel production in Texas’ Eagle Ford shale formation is about 60 percent oil, 20 percent natural gas liquids and 20 percent dry gas, Jeff Sheets, Conoco’s chief financial officer, said during the call. Its wells in North Dakota’s Bakken formation produce most