U.S. Energy Rigs Advance by 3 to 1,754, Baker Hughes Says

Rigs targeting oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by three to 1,754, according to Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI)

Oil rigs rose by 15 to 1,393, data posted on the company’s website show. The gas count declined 15 to 357, the Houston-based field services company said. Three miscellaneous rigs were added, increasing the total to four from one.

Energy producers including BP Plc (BP/), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Continental Resources Inc. (CLR) are using more efficient drilling techniques in U.S. shale-oil plays to extract the most oil in 25 years. The boom in domestic output is expected to turn the U.S. into the world’s largest crude producer by 2015.

U.S. oil output rose 24,000 barrels a day to 8.15 million in the week ended Jan. 3, the most since 1988, according to the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical unit. Crude stockpiles declined 2.68 million to 357.9 million.

West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery increased $1.04, or 1.1 percent, to $92.70 a barrel at 1:05 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 1.2 percent in the past year.

U.S. gas stockpiles dropped 157 billion cubic feet last week to 2.817 trillion, the EIA said. Supplies were 10.1 percent below the five-year average and 15.8 percent less than last year’s stocks for the week.

Natural gas for February delivery 6.6 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $4.071 per million British thermal units on the Nymex, up 27 percent from a year ago.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at ldoan6@bloomberg.net

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

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