Texas adds 5 rigs to Eagle Ford; U.S. count up just 2

An Eagle Ford drilling rig in South Texas. (file photo)

The number of oil and gas rigs in U.S. fields rose for the seventh straight week as oil companies, especially in Texas, continue to show optimism in the industry.

This week’s U.S. count jumped by two, a boom of more than 350 rigs since the count fell to its recent low last spring. U.S. oil drillers collectively sent seven more rigs into the patch this week, the Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday. Gas drillers fell by five.

Texas added six rigs — but the story again wasn’t the Permian Basin, which has dominated the industry’s rebound so far. Instead, drillers added five rigs in South Texas’ Eagle Ford.

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The total rig count rose to 756, up from a low of 404 in May, and up 267 rigs year over year.

The number of active oil rigs jumped to 609 this week. Gas rigs fell to 146. The number of offshore rigs grew by one to 18, down six rigs year over year.

North Dakota added three rigs, Louisiana two, Utah one. Oklahoma lost three, Pennsylvania and Wyoming two each, and Alaska, Colorado and New Mexico one.

Drilling activity has continued to rise despite oil prices that have stalled above $50 for weeks. U.S. oil prices settled on Thursday at $52.61, down $1.22 or 2 percent on the day, but were recovering by midday Friday.