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 Nov. 3.
The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, fell by seven 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 eight to 496 this week, their lowest since January 2022, while gas rigs rose one 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, meanwhile, have plunged about 21% so far this year after rising about 20% last year.
U.S. crude production was on track to rise from 11.9 MMbbl/d in 2022 to 12.9 MMbbl/d in 2023 and 13.1 MMbbl/d in 2024, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projections in October. That compares with a record 12.3 MMbl/d in 2019.
Despite lower prices for gas, U.S. gas production was on track to rise from a record 99.6 Bcf/d in 2022 to 103.7 Bcf/d in 2023 and 105.1 Bcf/d 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.
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