BY Staff and Wire reports
Saturday, April 28, 2012
4/28/12 at 3:49 AM
State drilling rig tally drops by three to 198
The number of drilling rigs actively exploring for oil or natural gas in Oklahoma fell by three this week to 198, Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.
The tally is up 8 percent from the year-ago level of 183, Baker Hughes said.
Nationwide, the net number of active drilling units fell by 27 this week to 1,945, said Houston-based Baker Hughes. A year ago, the total was 1,818.
Oil rigs accounted for 68 percent of the total count this week, the highest share since Baker Hughes separated oil and gas counts in 1987.
This week's gas rig count dropped 18 to 613, the lowest level since April 19, 2002, according to Baker Hughes' website.
Oil has been trading at more than $90 above the equivalent amount of natural gas, a trend that has caused energy producers to shift their focus to drilling for liquids.
Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas rose 6 cents to finish at $2.186 per 1,000 cubic feet. That's up nearly 15 percent from April 19, when the price hit the lowest level in more than a decade at $1.907 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Cooler weather in some parts of the country could be creating more need for natural gas, analysts said, adding that the price trend is likely short-term.
Benchmark crude oil rose 38 cents to end the week at $104.93 per barrel.