UPDATE 1-U.S. oil drillers cut rigs for 6th week on weak crude prices - Baker Hughes

Fri Oct 9, 2015 1:25pm EDT
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(Adds basin detail, natgas rig count, paragraphs 4-8)

By Scott DiSavino

Oct 9 (Reuters) - U.S. energy firms cut oil rigs for a sixth week in a row this week, the longest streak of weekly declines since June, data showed on Friday, a sign low prices continued to keep drillers away from the well pad.

Drillers removed nine oil rigs in the week ended Oct. 9, bringing the total rig count down to 605, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report. That total was the least since July, 2010. Drillers had cut a total of 61 rigs over the prior five weeks.

Since hitting an all-time high of 1,609 during this week a year ago, weekly rig count reductions have averaged 20.

Baker Hughes also reported a reduction in natural gas rigs, bringing total U.S. oil and gas rigs to a 13-year low. Gas rigs were down six this week to 189, the lowest level in at least 28 years, according to Baker Hughes data going back to 1987.

The oil rig reductions over the past month erased the 47 rigs added over the summer when drillers followed through on plans to add rigs announced in May and June when U.S. crude futures averaged $60 a barrel.

U.S. oil futures this week averaged $48 a barrel, up from a $45 average last week, on concerns over Russia's entry into the Syrian conflict and a rising Chinese stock market.

On Friday, U.S. futures were trading around $50 a barrel, up just 1 percent on the day, in choppy trade as speculators took profits on a big weekly surge for Brent.   Continued...