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Brakes Applied on Rig Decline Rate, Apparently

The pace of the U.S. rig count decline moderated significantly in the latest tally, which was released Friday by Baker Hughes Inc for the week ending May 22. While offshore saw a decline, the land rig count came back by three in the United States.

The country lost only one oil and one natural gas rig, plus one "miscellaneous" rig, making for a total decline of three for the week. However, land-based U.S. rigs saw a net gain of three. More specifically, the United States gave up five offshore rigs and one in inland waters but gained three land-based rigs.

The Eagle Ford Shale only gave up one rig to land at 107, and the Permian Basin held steady at 233. Two rigs returned to the Fayetteville Shale, making for eight now plying the play, and the Arkansas state tally also climbed by two to eight active rigs.

The Lone Star State, which has taken a beating in the rig retreat that began with the oil price collapse, actually managed to hold steady, not losing any of the 373 operating rigs in the prior count.

Nearby Louisiana lost four rigs, though, and West Virginia gave up three. However, the Haynesville and Marcellus shales each held steady with their tallies from last week: 27 and 66, respectively.

North of the border, Canada saw the retreat of more rigs than the United States, losing five to make for a North America decline of eight rigs total.

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