U.S. Rig Counts Continue to Decline

by Elizabeth Alford on December 15, 2015

For the 14th straight week, U.S. rig counts have declined as energy companies streamline operations to survive the prolonged downturn.

Related: U.S. Crude Below $40

Oil and gas producers have been pulling rigs offline throughout 2015 to curb costs while waiting for prices to rebound. Baker Hughes reported on Friday that the total rigs running across the country fell by 28 to 709. This is  less than half of the prior-year level of 1,893. 183 rigs are targeting natural gas and 524 are drilling oil. This came on the same day as crude fell to under $35, the lowest price since 2009.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its latest numbers showing that U.S. oil production edged up to 9.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in September from 9.3 million bpd in August. Weekly output remained around 9.2 million bpd for a sixth week in a row after holding at 9.1 million bpd for eight consecutive weeks since the start of September, according to EIA’s weekly field production report. That, however, is still well below the 9.6 million bpd peak seen in April.

Even the strongest areas like the Bakken and eagle Ford are seeing declines in production. For the first time in more than a decade, Bakken’s oil production is showing a year-over-year decline. State data shows that North Dakota produced 1.11 million barrels a day in September, down 1.1 percent from the same month a year ago and 4.6% from 2014.

Most alarming is the rate at which the monthly decrease is accelerating. In August the decline for the Eagle Ford was 57,000 barrels per day and in December the EIA expects that the decrease will be 52% higher at 87,000 barrels per day.

Read more at bakerhughes.com


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