03 August 2013, News Wires – The count of rigs drilling for natural gas surged by 19 this week in the US, with exploration apparently gaining momentum as prices for the commodity inched closer to $4 per Mmbtu.
The increase pushed the count to 388, on the rise but still 110 less than last year’s tally of 498, according to the latest tally from Houston-based service firm Baker Hughes.
Meanwhile the number exploring for oil was on the decline, dropping by 13 to 1388. That is off 41 units from a year ago.
The total overall for the US increased by six to 1782. The count working in the Gulf of Mexico grew by one to 55, up nine from a year ago.
Much of the increase apparently stemmed from West Virginia, which added 11 rigs for a total of 38.
Accordingly the mid-Atlantic Marcellus play was up by nine rigs for a total of 87. Texas’ Barnett also gained three rigs to 33.
Alaska also gained five rigs for a total of 12, while Louisiana also added five units for a total of 108. The Mississippian shed four rigs for a total of 70.