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Copper Tip Energy Services
Vista Projects
Copper Tip Energy

U.S. Drillers Add Most Oil and Gas Rigs Since November – Baker Hughes

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Sept 15 – U.S. energy firms this week added the most oil and natural gas rigs in a week since November, rising for a second week in a row, energy services firm Baker Hughes said in its closely followed report on Friday.

The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose nine to 641 in the week to Sept. 15, its highest since mid-August.

Despite this week’s rig increase, Baker Hughes said the total count was still down 122, or 16%, below this time last year.

U.S. oil rigs rose by two, the most in a week since April, to 515, while gas rigs gained eight to 121.

U.S. oil futures this week hit their highest in 2023, and were up about 13% so far this year after gaining about 7% in 2022. U.S. gas futures, meanwhile, have plunged about 41% so far this year after rising about 20% last year.

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U.S. crude production, which recovered to pre-pandemic levels last week, hitting its highest since March 2020, were on track to rise 870,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2023 to a record 12.8 million bpd, and 13.2 million bpd in 2024, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) projections. That compares with a record 12.3 million bpd in 2019.

Despite lower prices for gas, production was on track to rise from a record 98.1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2022 to 102.7 bcfd in 2023 and 104.9 bcfd in 2024, according to the EIA.

That is due mostly to increased interest in oil drilling in shale basins that also produce lots of associated gas like the Permian in West Texas and eastern New Mexico.

Vital Energy has signed agreements valued at about $1.17 billion to expand its acreage in the Permian, where dealmaking is gathering pace as drillers tap the largest U.S. oil patch to quickly replenish their depleting reserves. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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