US Rig Count Below 900

The number of rigs operating in US oil fields fell by eight to a total of 729 rigs this week, notching the lowest level since May, oilfield service firm Baker Hughes said in its weekly report on Friday.

This came as Oklahoma overall showed the largest decline among states, dropping eight units week/week to end at 117 (76 in the year-ago period).

West Texas' Permian Basin now accounts for 380 rigs, which is more than half of all the nation's oil rigs.

Canada added one rig week/week, with four oil-directed rigs returning to offset the loss of three gas-directed units. The next most active area is Oklahoma's Cana-Woodford shale with 66 rigs, recently surpassing Texas' Eagle Ford shale with 65 rigs.

The total oil and gas rig count in the United States now stands at 898 rigs, up 329 rigs from the year prior, with the number of oil rigs in the United States decreasing by 8 this week and the number of natural gas rigs decreasing by 3. The number of rigs drilling for oil decreased by eight this week to 729, while the natural gas rig count dropped by three to 169.

The nation's active drilling rig count fell by 11 rigs this week as the shale oil boom recovery continues to slow.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil for December delivery settled at $54.54 a barrel on Thursday and traded up about 0.8% Friday afternoon at $55.00.

However, Texas bucked the trend as one of only three states to add rigs.

Louisiana (down four), New Mexico (down two), North Dakota (down two) and Utah (down one) joined Oklahoma in dropping rigs for the week.

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