(Reuters) – U.S. energy firms this week reduced the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in three weeks as production growth forecasts from shale, the country’s largest oil fields, continue to shrink.
Drillers cut eight oil rigs in the week to April 18, bringing the total count down to 825, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Thursday.
Baker - Hughes - Report - Day - Week
Baker Hughes released the report a day early this week due to the Good Friday holiday.
The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is still a bit higher than a year ago when 820 rigs were active.
Rig - Count - Months - Production - Growth
The rig count fell for the past four months and production growth in the Permian and other key shale basins have slowed as oil prices fell in the fourth quarter and many independent shale companies cut spending in the face of investor pressure to focus on earnings growth instead of increased output.
Major oil companies, like Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp, however, are boosting their presence, particularly in the Permian, the largest U.S. shale oil field.
US - Crude - Oil - Output - Formations
U.S. crude oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise by about 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) in May to a record 8.46 million bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said...
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