US natgas rig count slips in 3rd week of 4 -Baker Hughes

Reuters

* Horizontal rigs rise for second straight week

* Oil rig count down 5 to 1,367

By Eileen Houlihan

NEW YORK, Oct 11 (Reuters) - The number of rigs drilling for

natural gas in the United States slid this week for the third

time in four weeks, down nine to 369, data from Houston-based

Baker Hughes showed on Friday.

The gas-directed rig count, which posted a six-month high of

401 a month ago, has increased in nine of the last 16 weeks and

remains well above the 18-year low of 349 set in late June.

Gas rigs are 53, or 13 percent, below the number drilling a

year ago.

Gas futures prices on Friday were up about 1 percent at

$3.76 per million British thermal units in late trade, slipping

about 1 cent following the release of the rig data 1:02 p.m. EDT

(1702 GMT).

The oil-focused rig count slid five to 1,367. The oil rig

count hit a nine-month high of 1,413 in mid-June, Baker Hughes

data showed. The oil count is down 44 rigs, or 3 percent, from

the same week last year.

Baker Hughes reported horizontal rigs, the type often used

to extract oil or gas from shale, notched their second straight

weekly increase, adding seven to 1,106.

The horizontal count is down just 6, or 0.5 percent from

last year and 87, or 7 percent below the record high of 1,193

set in May 2012.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration this week raised

its estimate for domestic natural gas production in 2013,

expecting output this year to be up about 1.2 percent from

2012's record high levels.

In its October Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA said it

expected marketed natural gas production in 2013 to rise by 0.82

billion cubic feet per day to 70.00 bcf per day, up fractionally

from its September outlook of 69.91 bcf daily.

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