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US drillers cut oil and gas rigs to lowest since Feb 2022- Baker Hughes

U.S. energy firms this week cut the number of oil and natural gas rigs operating to their lowest since February 2022, 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, fell by 7 to 618 in the week to Nov. 3, the lowest since February 2022.

Baker Hughes said that puts the total rig count down 152 rigs, or 20%, below this time last year.

U.S. oil rigs fell 8 to 496 this week, their lowest since January 2022, while gas rigs rose 1 to 118.

In North Dakota, home of the Bakken shale, Baker Hughes said drillers cut one rig, bringing the state’s total count down to 29, its lowest since January 2022.

U.S. oil futures were unchanged so far this year after gaining about 7% in 2022. U.S. gas futures NGc1, meanwhile, have plunged about 21% so far this year after rising about 20% last year.

U.S. crude production was ontrack to rise from 11.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2022 to 12.9 million bpd in 2023 and 13.1 million bpd in 2024, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projections in October. That compares with a record 12.3 million bpd in 2019.

Despite lower prices for gas, U.S. gas production was on track to rise from a record 99.6 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2022 to 103.7 bcfd in 2023 and 105.1 bcfd in 2024, according to EIA’s projections in October.

That increase in gas output despite lower gas prices 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.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by David Gregorio)

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