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U.S. drillers add oil rigs for second week in three

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Staff Writer | September 14, 2018
Oil rig count
Oil exploration   Drillers added seven oil rigs in the week to Sept. 14

U.S. energy companies this week added oil rigs for the second time in the last three weeks even as new drilling has largely stalled since June due to pipeline constraints in the country’s biggest oilfield.

Drillers added seven oil rigs in the week to Sept. 14, the biggest weekly increase in a month, bringing the total count to 867, General Electric’s Baker Hughes said.

The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is higher than a year ago when 749 rigs were active as energy companies have been ramping up production in anticipation of higher prices in 2018 than previous years.

But the rig count has held mostly steady around 860 rigs since the start of June as crude prices in the Permian region in western Texas and eastern New Mexico have collapsed due to a lack of pipeline infrastructure needed to transport more fuel out of the region.

More than half the total oil rigs are in the Permian basin in west Texas and eastern New Mexico, the nation’s biggest shale oil field. Active units there declined by one this week to 483, the least since the start of August.


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