UPDATE 1-U.S. oil rigs decline, but up in Permian, Bakken -Baker Hughes

Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:48pm EDT
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(New throughout, adds basin details)

By Scott DiSavino

June 19 (Reuters) - U.S. oil drillers this week added one rig each in the Permian and Bakken shale basins, data showed on Friday, another sign that higher crude prices are coaxing producers back to the well pad after a six-month slump in activity.

Overall, drillers reduced the number of rigs by four this week, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report.

It was the 28th straight weekly decline and brought the total rig count down to 631, the lowest since August 2010.

The number of oil rigs in the Permian, the nation's biggest shale oil field located in West Texas and eastern New Mexico, climbed to 232 this week, up one from the lowest level in at least four years last week, according to Baker Hughes data going back to 2011.

Drillers also added one rig in the Williston section of the Bakken formation centered in North Dakota.

U.S. crude oil futures fell toward $59 a barrel on Friday in part on forecasts from shale producers that oil output would keep growing this year.

"As long as the drop in rigs fails to translate into a reduction in production, (it) will be unable to sustain price advances," said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates, an energy consulting firm, in Illinois. He expects the rig count to increase by the end of the month.   Continued...