U.S. Baker Hughes Energy Rig Count Drops by 7 to 1,761

Energy rigs in the U.S. fell by seven to 1,761 this week, as natural gas rigs decreased for the first time in three weeks, according to Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI)

Gas rigs dropped by 15 to 386, the Houston-based field services company said on its website. Oil rigs jumped by eight to 1,369. The miscellaneous rig count was unchanged at six.

The rig count has increased as domestic crude output has climbed to the most since 1989 as producers use hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to reach shale deposits. U.S. reserves have risen the most in two decades, government reports show. The resurgence in production helped the U.S. meet 87 percent of its energy needs in the first five months of 2013, on pace to be the highest annual rate since 1986.

U.S. oil output rose to 7.83 million barrels a day last week, the EIA said Sept. 18. Output has increased 12 percent so far this year after a 19 percent gain in 2012.

Crude for October delivery fell 83 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $105.56 a barrel at 1:30 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 2.4 percent this week and have advanced 15 percent in the past year.

Natural gas for October delivery slipped 3.4 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $3.686 per million British thermal units, up 32 percent from a year ago.

U.S. gas stockpiles gained 46 billion cubic feet last week to 3.299 trillion, the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm, reported yesterday. Supplies were 5.4 percent below year-earlier levels and 0.5 percent above the five-year average.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edward Welsch in Calgary at ewelsch1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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