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Seventh consecutive gain in rig counts puts U.S. total near 1-year high

The latest data on rig counts from Baker Hughes Inc. revealed a seventh consecutive increase in the U.S. total, with gains nearly equally distributed between natural gas and crude oil.

The U.S. total rig count climbed five to reach 658 during the week ended Dec. 30. It was the highest reading since the week ended Jan. 8. The figure was down 40 from the corresponding week a year earlier and 1,373 rigs below the Sept. 12, 2008, peak of 2,031.

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Natural gas rigs gained three to 132 but were down 30 from the same week a year ago, putting the figure 1,474 rigs below the record high of 1,606 reached in the week ended Sept. 12, 2008. The number of rigs targeting crude oil increased two to 525 but was down 11 from the same week a year earlier, putting it 1,084 rigs below the record high of 1,609 set in the week ended Oct. 10, 2014.

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The North American rig count fell 62 to reach 815 but was up 34 from the prior year. Canadian rigs dropped 67 from a week earlier to reach 157, which was 74 rigs above the same week a year earlier.

U.S. land rigs climbed seven in the week ended Dec. 30 to 634 but were down 38 from the same week a year ago. Inland water rigs remained unchanged versus the prior week and year-ago week at one. Offshore rigs fell two on the week to reach 23 and were down two from a year earlier.

By trajectory, vertical rigs gained one from the prior week but fell 19 from a year ago to reach 70. Directional rigs fell two to 56 and were down four from a year ago. Horizontal rigs increased six on the week but were down 17 from the prior-year period to reach 532.

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