Baker Hughes: US Oil, Gas Rig Count Up 11 to 1,346 This Week

HOUSTON (Dow Jones), Feb. 12, 2010

The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the U.S. rose this week as producers ramped up output in response to higher prices, but the oil rig count dipped slightly.

The number of oil and gas rigs climbed to 1,346, up 11 rigs from the previous week, according to data from oil-field services company Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI). The number of gas rigs was 891, an increase of 13 rigs from last week, while the oil rig count was 443, a decrease of two rigs. The number of miscellaneous rigs was unchanged at 12 rigs.

The number of gas rigs in use peaked at 1,606 in September 2008. Producers curbed natural-gas drilling sharply over the past several months in response to falling prices, but the rig count has stabilized in recent weeks as producers bet on colder winter weather and an economic recovery that would spark demand for the fuel.

Natural gas for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was recently up 10.8 cents, or 2%, at $5.504 a million British thermal units.

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