Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI), an oil field service company said that the weekly number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States fell by seven to 534 as of June 29. The company recorded a 13-year downturn this week. Its data also showed that the low price for gas as the main reason for the decline, as first reported by Reuters.
According to the company, the gas rig count is 43 percent lower compared to the highest rig count recorded in October last year with 936 rigs actively exploring for natural gas. Data also showed the number of rigs operating this week is 38.9 percent lower compared with the rig count during the same period last year.
On the other hand, the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported an increase in natural gas production for the first time in three months within the Lower 48 States last April. According to EIA’s monthly data, the wet gas output in April was 72.48 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day, production rose by 0.56 bcf per day compared with the 71.92 bcf natural gas output in March. Although the lowering gas price makes dry gas drilling more expensive, energy companies continue their operations in order to retain their lease. This is another reason for the abundant supply of gas in the market.
Meanwhile Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI) also reported that the number of oil-drilling rigs remain stable at 1,421. The record shows a consistent record high for the past 25 years. Data from the oil field service company showed that this week’s total number of active rigs drilling for oil went up by 41.3 percent compared with last year’s 1,006 operating oil rigs.
The highest number of operating rigs for oil and natural gas in the United States was recorded in 1981 with a total of 4,530 rigs. The lowest was in 1999 with only 488 rigs actively drilling.