March 13, 2015 / 6:09 PM / 3 years ago

Canada rig count drops 27 pct on weather, prices - Baker Hughes

CALGARY, Alberta, March 13 (Reuters) - The number of rigs drilling for oil and gas in Canada fell 27 percent last week, with the oil rig count nearly halved, due to low crude prices and an early end to the winter drilling season in much of the country’s west.

Only 220 rigs were operating in the country in the week ended March 13, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc on Friday. That compares with 300 operating in the prior week and 522 in the same week a year earlier.

The survey said 85 Canadian rigs were targeting oil reserves, down from 150 last week and 327 a year prior.

The drop comes as drillers cut spending on new wells over the past several months with the collapse in U.S. crude futures by almost 60 percent since June on oversupply concerns.

However unseasonable warm temperatures in Western Canada brought an early end to the usually busy winter drilling season in much of the province of Alberta as local governments impose weight restrictions on regional roads, keeping rigs from the field.

Canadian drilling is dropping in tandem with the U.S., where, the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States fell 56 this week to 866, the lowest since March 2011.

Reporting by Scott Haggett

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