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U.S. Energy Rigs Rise for Third Week, Baker Hughes Says

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- Oil and gas rigs in the U.S. rose by 11 to 1,770 this week, according to Baker Hughes Inc.

Oil rigs rose four to 1,395, the Houston-based field services company said on its website. Gas rigs increased by seven to 369.

The total U.S. count has gained three weeks in a row. Rising output from shale formations such as North Dakota’s Bakken and Texas’s Eagle Ford plays have boosted domestic oil production to the highest level since December 1990. The surge in output helped the nation meet 89 percent of its own energy needs in March.

Natural gas for August delivery fell 2.4 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $3.788 per million British thermal units at 1:17 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 26 percent from a year ago.

U.S. gas stockpiles gained 58 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 12 to 2.745 trillion, the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical arm, said yesterday. Supplies were 13 percent below year-earlier levels.

U.S. oil output climbed 1.2 percent to 7.49 million barrels a day last week, EIA data show. Stockpiles fell 1.9 percent to 367 million barrels.

Crude for August delivery fell 4 cents to $108 a barrel today on the Nymex, up 17 percent in the past year.

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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