The number of rigs working in the Barnett Shale increased, just barely, for the second consecutive week, while the U.S. rig count continued to slide. In North Texas, 83 rigs were active, up one from a week earlier and up six from two weeks ago. Tarrant County increased its standing as the busiest county, with 33 rigs compared with Johnson County’s 17. Nationally, the rig count fell by 20 in the past week to 955, barely half of the year-ago total. Of those, 742 were exploring for natural gas and 202 for oil, with another 11 unclassified, Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday. The U.S. count is down 53 percent since the end of August as weak energy demand has hampered oil-field activity. Texas, with 378 rigs, was down six.
-- Jim Fuquay