HOUSTON, April 22 (Reuters) - Norwegian oil and natural gas producer Statoil ASA has no plans to add North American drilling rigs this year, an executive told Reuters on Wednesday.
"I don't see us adding rigs this year," William Maloney, Statoil's head of North American exploration, said in an interview on the sidelines of the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston, the world's largest gathering of oil producers. "You don't need as many rigs if you can drill them quicker, better, faster and safely."
Pioneer Natural Resources Co Chief Executive Officer Scott Sheffield told Reuters on Tuesday his company may soon start adding rigs, a step that would mark the start of a reversal of a trend that has seen the U.S. oil rig rate halve since last September.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder)
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