Rig count rises for 16th straight week

A hydraulic fracturing operation in the Permian Basin in 2012. (Apache)

The number of oil and gas rigs in U.S. fields rose for the 16th straight week as oil companies, especially in Texas and Louisiana, continue to drill despite a recent dip in oil prices.

This week’s U.S. count jumped seven, a boom of more than 470 rigs since its recent low last spring. U.S. oil drillers collectively sent six more rigs into the patch this week, the Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday. Gas drillers rose by two.

Texas added six rigs, mostly in West Texas’s white-hot Permian Basin, and Louisiana added four.

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The total rig count jumped to 877, up from a low of 404 in May, and up 462 year over year.

The number of active oil rigs rose to 703 this week. Gas rigs rose to 173. The number of offshore rigs is up two, down five year over year.

Outside of Texas and Louisiana, Alaska and Wyoming added two rigs and New Mexico and Colorado one. Oklahoma lost seven; North Dakota, Pennsylvania and West Virgina lost one.

Drilling activity has continued to rise despite a recent dip in oil prices, which fell under $46 a barrel on Thursday, their lowest point since November.