October 11, 2013 / 5:42 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-US natgas rig count slips in 3rd week of 4 -Baker Hughes

* Horizontal rigs rise for second straight week
    * Oil rig count down 5 to 1,367

    By Eileen Houlihan
    NEW YORK, Oct 11 (Reuters) - The number of rigs drilling for
natural gas in the United States slid this week for the third
time in four weeks, down nine to 369, data from Houston-based
Baker Hughes showed on Friday.
    The gas-directed rig count, which posted a six-month high of
401 a month ago, has increased in nine of the last 16 weeks and
remains well above the 18-year low of 349 set in late June.
    Gas rigs are 53, or 13 percent, below the number drilling a
year ago.
    Gas futures prices on Friday were up about 1 percent at
$3.76 per million British thermal units in late trade, slipping
about 1 cent following the release of the rig data 1:02 p.m. EDT
(1702 GMT).
    The oil-focused rig count slid five to 1,367. The oil rig
count hit a nine-month high of 1,413 in mid-June, Baker Hughes
data showed. The oil count is down 44 rigs, or 3 percent, from
the same week last year.
    Baker Hughes reported horizontal rigs, the type often used
to extract oil or gas from shale, notched their second straight
weekly increase, adding seven to 1,106.
    The horizontal count is down just 6, or 0.5 percent from
last year and 87, or 7 percent below the record high of 1,193
set in May 2012.
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration this week raised
its estimate for domestic natural gas production in 2013,
expecting output this year to be up about 1.2 percent from
2012's record high levels. 
    In its October Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA said it
expected marketed natural gas production in 2013 to rise by 0.82
billion cubic feet per day to 70.00 bcf per day, up fractionally
from its September outlook of 69.91 bcf daily.

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