U.S. energy firms this week added oil and natural gas rigs for a second week in a row, although the number of offshore units in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) remained unchanged after Hurricane Ida slammed into the coast over two weeks ago.
Fourteen offshore GoM rigs shut two weeks ago due to Ida remained shut, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. said in its weekly report. Last week, four of those offshore rigs returned to service. The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose nine to 512 in the week to Sept. 17, its highest since April 2020, Baker Hughes said.
That puts the total rig count up 257 rigs, or 101%, over this time last year.
U.S. oil rigs rose 10 to 411 this week, their highest since April 2020, while gas rigs fell one to 100.
U.S. crude futures were trading under $72 per barrel Sept. 17, heading for the fourth straight weekly gain thanks to the slow recovery in output after two hurricanes in the U.S. GoM.
Overall, the oil and gas rig count has increased for 13 months in a row through August as rising oil prices have prompted drillers to return to the wellpad.
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