Rig count up 16, third week of double-digit growth

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
A pump jack in Oklahoma City. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

The number of oil and gas rigs in U.S. fields rose again this week, up 16 over last week. It’s the third double-digit increase in a row and a boom of 85 rigs over the past month.

U.S. oil drillers collectively sent 13 more rigs into the patch this week, the Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday. Gas drillers added three.

Oklahoma led the rise, with six. West Texas’ Permian Basin added four.

The total rig count rose to 653, up from a low of 404 in May. Almost as many rigs are now in U.S. oil and gas fields as there were at this time last year, when 700 drilled.

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The number of active oil rigs jumped to 523 this week. Gas rigs ticked up to 129. The number offshore rigs even rose, by three, to 25, up one year over year.

Total rig counts lifted by six in Oklahoma, four in Texas, three in Alaska, and one in Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. Arkansas lost one, West Virginia two.

Drilling activity has followed the modest rebound in prices, from February’s low of about $26 a barrel to more than $50 in recent weeks.

U.S. oil prices settled on Thursday at $52.95, up 46 cents on the day, but down slightly at midday Friday.