US Oil and Gas Rig Count Tops 900

The number of rigs drilling of oil and natural gas throughout the country topped 900 this week for the first time in more than two years.

The oil and natural gas industry this week restarted 16 rigs, bumping the country’s total to 901, up 123 percent from 404 one year ago. The number of rigs drilling for oil increased by eight to 720 while the natural gas count also gained eight, climbing to to 180. One rig was listed as “miscellaneous.”

In Oklahoma, four new rigs were added, ending two weeks of declines and boosting the state count to 122, up 114 percent from one year ago.

Central Oklahoma’s STACK and SCOOP fields are among the areas in the country where drilling activity has picked up fastest. The plays are part of the Cana Woodford basin, which was unchanged this week at 53. The basin had 29 active rigs one year ago.

The Cana Woodford is the third most-active field in the country, behind the south Texas Eagle Ford, which added two rigs this week to 85, and the Permian Basin in west Texas and southeast New Mexico, which gained four rigs this week to 361.

Texas remains the country’s most active driller, adding eight rigs this week to 459. Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Wyoming each added two rigs this week while New Mexico and Ohio each picked up one. Colorado gave back two rigs while Alaska’s count dipped by one.

Domestic benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude gained 98 cents Friday to close at $50.33 a barrel while natural gas added 7 cents to $3.26 per thousand cubic feet.

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