Natural-gas rigs sink to five month-low

The U.S. natural-gas rig count slipped for the third week to the lowest level in five months after energy producers made fewer plays in Oklahoma, according to data compiled by Baker Hughes Inc.

Natural-gas rigs fell by 6 to 871, the lowest count since June 17, Baker Hughes said. Natural gas for December delivery fell 8 percent, or 28.6 cents, this week to $3.298 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:05 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Crude oil was trading $78.36 higher than the equivalent amount of gas, up from $58.61 a year ago, Bloomberg data shows.

The number of oil rigs fell for the first time in three weeks, by eight to 1,125 this week, Baker Hughes said. Crude-oil for December delivery declined 2 percent, or $1.89, to $97.10 a barrel this week on the Nymex as of 2:08 p.m.

Total U.S. energy rigs slipped for the second week, falling by 15 to 2,001. The rig count has advanced 19 percent in the past year.

Oklahoma lost the most energy rigs this week, down four to 192, the first drop for the state in four weeks. New Mexico’s rig count fell by three to 79, while Alaska, California and Texas each lost two. Colorado and Wyoming each gained a rig.

Rigs on land dropped 15 to 1,945 and rigs in inland waters gained one to 20. The offshore rig count lost one to 36, while rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were unchanged at 36.

Miscellaneous rigs, which primarily drill for geothermal energy, fell by one to five.

Canadian rig counts fell by 13 to 487.