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US rig count cut for 6th week to Nov 2009 lows

US rig count down by 11 to 420 oil and gas rigs

rig count

Despite crude futures climbing, the US rig count is down again this week.  Nabors photo.

April 29 (Reuters) – U.S. energy firms cut oil rigs for a sixth week in a row to the lowest level since November 2009, according to oil services company Baker Hughes Inc in its weekly rig count report issued Friday.

Despite crude futures climbing to their highest levels this year, drillers remained cautious in returning to the well pad.

In the United States during the week ending April 29, the number of operational oil rigs was down by 11 and the number of gas rigs was down by one.  Baker Hughes says there was one miscellaneous rig up and running.

The number of U.S. oil rigs currently operating compares with the 679 rigs operating in the same week a year ago.

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Of the major oil drilling states, New Mexico and Oklahoma saw the biggest decline in rig counts, each with three fewer.  Texas, Kansas, Louisiana and West Virginia were all down by two rigs and Colorado had one less rig.

Alaska, Arkansas, California, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wyoming all remained even.

In Canada, there were two fewer oil rigs, bringing the total to 10 and there were 26 gas rigs operational, one less than last week.  This time last year, there were 17 oil rigs and 62 gas rigs operation in Canada.

Baker Hughes said at its quarterly earnings release on Wednesday that it expected the U.S. rig count to start stabilizing in the second half of the year, although it did not expect any meaningful hike in oil drilling activity.

Whiting Petroleum Corp’s Chief Executive Jim Volkers said the firm would like oil prices to stay at or above $50 for at least 90 days before deciding to reduce drilled-but-uncompleted well count in Colorado.

The world’s No. 1 oilfield services provider Schlumberger NV also said it will remain cautious in adding capacity even after energy firms show signs of recovery since it believes the industry will continue cutting costs through the coming quarter.

(Reporting by Barani Krishnan; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Posted in: Energy News

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