U.S. Rig Count Falls to Lowest Level in Two Months

July 1, 2013

The U.S. energy rig count declined to the lowest level in two months this week, according to Baker Hughes Inc., Bloomberg reports.

The total count fell by 11 to 1,748, the Houston-based field services company said on its website. Oil rigs dropped by 15 to 1,390, a nine-week low. Gas rigs rose by four to 353, the first increase in six weeks.

A resurgence in U.S. gas and oil output, driven largely by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, helped the nation meet 89 percent of its energy needs in March, the highest monthly rate since April 1986, Energy Information Administration data show. Soaring supplies and more efficient techniques such as pad drilling have driven the energy rig count down from more than 2,000 in early 2012.

Exploration and production companies in the U.S. were expected to cut capital expenditures by 2.1 percent this quarter from a year ago “driven by a focus on pad drilling and cost cutting, as well as lower levels of natural gas drilling,” according to a Bloomberg Industries analysis.

Source: Bloomberg , 2013.