Rigs targeting oil and natural gas in the U.S. were unchanged this week at 1,831, according to Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI)
Oil rigs declined by seven to 1,510, data posted on the company’s website show. The gas count increased by six to 316, the Houston-based field services company said. Miscellaneous rigs rose by one to five.
The total count gained 52 rigs in the first quarter as producers ramped up drilling in shale formations from North Dakota to Texas, boosting domestic crude output to the highest in a quarter-century. The boom helped the nation meet 87 percent of its energy needs in 2013, the highest since 1985, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.
“The prolific rise in domestic crude oil production volume has resulted in a steep fall in U.S. petroleum imports,” Bloomberg Industries analysts Vincent Piazza and Gurpal Dosanjh said in a report yesterday. “Net imports are expected to satisfy about 25 percent of total U.S. liquid fuel consumption in 2015, the lowest level since 1971.”
Crude production in Texas’s Permian Basin is expected to reach 1.45 million barrels a day in May, the most since at least January 2007, the EIA said in an April 14 drilling report. Output in North Dakota’s Bakken play will rise to a record 1.06 million.
Total U.S. oil production rose 72,000 barrels a day in the week ended April 11 to 8.3 million, the most since April 1988, according to data compiled by the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. Department’s statistical arm. Oil supplies along the Gulf of Mexico, known as PADD 3, rose 5.17 million barrels to 207.2 million, the most in EIA data going back to 1990.
West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery increased 15 cents to $103.91 a barrel at 1:09 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 20 percent in the past year.
U.S. gas stockpiles rose 24 billion cubic feet last week to 850 billion, EIA data show. Supplies were 54.3 percent below the five-year average and 50 percent below year-earlier levels.
Natural gas for May delivery rose 4.2 percent to $4.719 per million British thermal units today on the Nymex and has risen 12 percent in the past year.