UPDATE 1-U.S. oil drillers add rigs despite crude prices collapse -Baker Hughes

Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:33pm EDT
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(Adds count per basin)

By Scott DiSavino

July 31 (Reuters) - U.S. energy firms added 5 oil rigs this week after putting 21 rigs into service last week, the most in over a year, despite a collapse in U.S. crude prices from recent highs in June, data showed on Friday.

That was a sign some drillers followed through on plans to add rigs announced in May and June when U.S. crude futures were averaging $60 a barrel. U.S. crude futures so far this week however have traded around $48.

Drillers added oil rigs in two of the four major U.S. shale oil basins, with three in the Permian in West Texas and eastern New Mexico and one in the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana. They cut one rig each in the Eagle Ford in South Texas and the Niobrara in Colorado and Wyoming.

The rig count gain this week was the fourth increase in the past 34 weeks, bringing the total rig count up to 664, the highest early May, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report.

U.S. crude futures this week were on track for a fifth down week in a row, their longest losing streak since January.

Analysts said U.S. crude futures were trading at their lowest level since March on continuing lackluster global demand growth and lingering oversupply concerns.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was still flooding the international markets with oil while United States production remains high despite a small decline in weekly output seen last week.   Continued...