Rigs targeting oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 12 this week to 1,756, according to Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI)
The U.S. rig count has declined by seven this year as the boom in shale oil and gas plays slow and technological improvements shorten drilling times, weakening demand for additional equipment. Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling helped the U.S. meet 87 percent of its own energy needs in the first six months of 2013, on pace to be the highest annual rate since 1986, according to the Energy Information Administration.
“U.S. rig activity continues to lag expectations with rig efficiency and service intensity yielding modest oil service demand growth in a flattish rig count environment,” Stephen Gengaro, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. in New York, said in a research note Sept. 30. “Looking ahead, we expect only modest rig count growth near term with likely improvement gaining traction in 2014.”
West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery rose 25 cents to $103.56 a barrel at 1:19 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 13 percent in the past year.
U.S. oil output gained 7,000 barrels a day to 7.78 million in the week ended Sept. 27, near a 24-year high, according to the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. Stockpiles rose by 5.47 million barrels, or 1.5 percent, to 363.7 million, the most since July.
Natural gas for November delivery increased 0.2 cent to $3.501 per million British thermal units on the Nymex, up 2.8 percent from a year ago.
U.S. gas stockpiles rose 101 billion cubic feet last week to 3.487 trillion, the EIA said yesterday. Supplies were 4.3 percent below year-earlier inventories, the agency said.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) said in a statement yesterday that roads and bridges damaged in Colorado during flooding last month had affected the company’s ability to move rigs and compression units. The flood halted an estimated 12 percent of the state’s daily oil production.
Tropical Storm Karen has also curbed energy production in the Gulf of Mexico and triggered a hurricane watch along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The system was expected to make landfall as a tropical storm Oct. 6 on the southeastern tip of Louisiana, and then again near Mobile, Alabama, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
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