The number of active rigs in the Barnett Shale rose by five this week, to 35, apparently a rebound from last week's total that was probably depressed the Christmas holiday as well as the ice and snow that blew in last week. That week the rig count had fallen eight, to 30, according to RigData. Still, not counting last week the Barnett rig count is at its lowest in years.
Nationally, the rig count inched down by one to 1,762, led by oil rigs dropping by nine to 1,318, their lowest in nine months, said BakerHughes. Gas rigs were up eight to 439, but remain at less than a third their peak level in 2008. While oil rigs have fallen seven straight weeks, U.S. oil production rose to its highest since March 1993.
-- Jim Fuquay