U.S. drillers leave oil and gas rigs unchanged - Baker Hughes

Credit: REUTERS/Nick Oxford

By Scott DiSavino

Jan 27 (Reuters) - U.S. energy firms this week kept oil and natural gas rigs steady, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co BKR.O said in its closely followed report on Friday.

The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, remains at 771 in the week to Jan. 27. RIG-USA-BHI, RIG-OL-USA-BHI, RIG-GS-USA-BHI

Baker Hughes said that puts the total rig count up 161 rigs, or 26%, over this time last year.

For the month, total oil and gas rigs were down by 8 rigs, the biggest monthly decline since July 2020. It also put the total count down for two months in a row for the first time since July 2020.

Overall, U.S. crude production was on track to rise from 11.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2022 to 12.4 million bpd in 2023 and 12.8 million bpd in 2024, according to federal energy data. That compares with a record 12.3 million bpd in 2019.

Even though energy companies boosted spending in 2021 and 2022, crude output remained below 2019's record because many firms have focused more on returning money to investors and paying down debt rather than boosting production.

Even when producers may have been looking to boost output, analysts said soaring inflation and supply disruptions in 2022 forced many energy firms to spend the extra money on more expensive equipment and rising labor costs.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

((scott.disavino@thomsonreuters.com; +1 332 219 1922; Reuters Messaging: scott.disavino.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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