Baker Hughes Co, an energy services company, reported on Thursday that U.S. energy firms decreased the number of active oil and natural gas rigs for the second week in a row.
This count, which provides an early indication of future output, dropped by four to 751 during the week ending April 6th.
Due to the Good Friday holiday on April 7th, Baker Hughes published the rig count a day earlier than usual.
Although there was a decline in rigs this week, Baker Hughes indicated that the total count remained 62 rigs higher, or 9%, than this time last year.
During the week, U.S. oil rigs fell by two to 590, while gas rigs decreased by two to 158.
U.S. oil futures have increased by roughly 6.7% this year after a 7% increase in 2022. Conversely, U.S. gas futures have plummeted by approximately 53% so far this year after a 20% increase last year.
Some exploration and production firms, such as Chesapeake Energy Corp, Southwestern Energy Co, and Comstock Resources Inc, have already announced intentions to decrease production by reducing gas rigs in response to the decline in gas prices.
Despite some companies’ plans to decrease rig counts, U.S. crude production is still predicted to rise from 11.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2022 to 12.4 million bpd in 2023 and 12.6 million bpd in 2024, according to March projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). This is in contrast to the record high of 12.3 million bpd in 2019.
According to federal energy data from March, U.S. gas production is also predicted to rise from a record 98.09 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2022 to 100.67 bcfd in 2023 and 101.69 bcfd in 2024.
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