Acknowledging that reducing natural gas in the power stack is causing near-term worries about reliability, California regulators on Thursday took steps to bolster supplies for the next four years, including delaying the retirement of some gas-fired coastal, water-cooled generation plants.
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The U.S. added five rigs for the week ended Friday, with new rigs in Utah and Louisiana leading the way in onshore gains for the week ended Friday, according to the latest tally by Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI).
Drillers in the Sooner State stepped up their game during the week just ended and handily beat usual rig-growth favorite Texas.
U.S. drillers added just one land-based rig during the week ending Friday, according to Baker Hughes Inc. Another rig rejoined the offshore fleet to make for an overall gain of two. Oil rigs were favored over gas as one industry analyst said gas production needs to step up in the months ahead.
U.S. oil rig activity has climbed back to a level that is almost 84% of what it was one year ago; however, natural gas rigs have only managed to reach 60% of their year-ago tally. The most recent rig count by Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI) didn’t help the natural gas census any.
Seventeen rigs returned to land-based U.S. action during the week ending Friday, and 11 of the those joined the ranks of units already running in the Permian Basin of West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The Permian count stood at 229 at week’s end, four more rigs than were running in the play one year ago.
U.S. natural gas drilling activity is but 58% of what it was a year ago, according to the latest rig census from Baker Hughes Inc., which was released Friday.