The U.S. oil rig count continued to drop sharply as Baker Hughes Inc. reported that 1,056 were running across the country for the week ending Feb. 13, down 84 from the previous week and 367 from the same time one year ago.
Friday's rig count was the lowest since August 2011 and well below the peak of 1,609 in October 2014. The U.S. upstream industry has responded pointedly to a plunge in oil prices over the last seven months and U.S. crude prices jumped more than 3% to near $53/bbl on Friday, shortly after Baker reported the weekly rig count. Global crude moved above $60/bbl for the first time this year.
Overall, oil and gas rigs operating both onshore and offshore reduced by 98 during the week to 1,358 from 1,456 at the same time last year.
In the onshore, Texas again saw the largest declines, dropping 56 rigs week over week. That was followed by New Mexico, which saw 12 rigs fall off, and North Dakota, where the 132 rigs running for the week ending Feb. 6 dropped by nine to 123 on Friday.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, oil and natural gas production in the nation's most most prolific shale and tight oil plays could increase by a little more than 1% between February and March (see Shale Daily, Feb. 10). Analysts expect hundreds of oil rigs to be cut from fields across the country this year as most exploration and production companies have reported plans to reduce spending to weather the commodities downturn (see Shale Daily, Feb 11; Jan. 5 2015).