April 14 (Reuters) - U.S. energy firms this week cut the number of oil and natural gas rigs operating for a third week in a row, 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, fell by three to 748 in the week to April 14. RIG-USA-BHI, RIG-OL-USA-BHI, RIG-GS-USA-BHI
U.S. oil rigs fell by two to 588 this week, their lowest since June 2022, while gas rigs fell by one to 157.
U.S. oil futures CLc1 were up about 3% so far this year after gaining about 7% in 2022. U.S. gas futures NGc1, meanwhile, have plunged about 53% so far this year after rising about 20% last year.
The drop in gas prices has already caused some exploration and production companies, including Chesapeake Energy Corp CHK.O, Southwestern Energy Co SWN.N and Comstock Resources Inc CRK.N, to announce plans to reduce production by cutting some gas rigs.
Despite some plans to lower rig counts, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) this week raised its forecast for crude output growth.
U.S. crude production was on track to rise from 11.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2022 to 12.5 million bpd in 2023 and 12.8 million bpd in 2024, according to the EIA. That compares with a record 12.3 million bpd in 2019.
U.S. gas production, meanwhile, was on track to rise from a record 98.09 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2022 to 100.87 bcfd in 2023 and 101.58 bcfd in 2024, according to federal energy data.
(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.