In Texas everything is bigger, or so the saying goes.
So it should come as no surprise that the Lone Star State leads the nation, for the second week in a row, in the loss of rigs searching for oil and natural gas, according to Baker Hughes, the Houston-based oilfield services company.
There were 13 fewer active rigs, leaving 753 still operating in Texas. Counting the 44 rigs pulled last week, there are 57 fewer crews working in the field, Baker Hughes reported. Since Jan. 2, the number of rigs working in Texas has dropped by 87, the company reported.
The number of rigs nationally dropped by 43 to 1,633 — 1,317 rigs exploring for oil and 316 for gas. A year ago, there were 1,777 rigs active, the Houston firm said.
“There is no surprise there,” said Bernard Weinstein, an economist at Southern Methodist University's Maguire Energy Institute. “The industry is still reacting to the expectation that prices will remain subdued for an extended period.”
While oil prices stabilized last week, the price per barrel continued its slump on Friday, closing at $45.49, a 72 cent drop for the day. The price of oil has been cut by more than in half since June.
Among the other major oil- and gas- producing states, North Dakota lost nine, Oklahoma fell eight, Ohio four, California and New Mexico each lost three and Utah two.
Kansas, West Virginia and Wyoming dropped one apiece.
In the Barnett Shale, the number of rigs, most of them primarily searching for natural gas, increased by one to 11, following a loss of six the week before, according to data compiled by RigData.
Tarrant, Denton and Jack counties each reported having two rigs, while Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker, Stephens, and Wise reported one rig each.
Max B Baker, 817-390-7714