US natgas rig count climbs, only 3rd gain this year
Gas-directed rig count gains after last week's 10-year low
* Horizontal rig count rises for first time in 3 weeks
* Oil drilling rigs again climb to 25-year high
By Joe Silha
NEW YORK, April 20 (Reuters) - The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States rose this week for only the third time this year as some producers shrugged off record low prices for the fuel that have crimped profits and forced a slowdown in gas drilling this year.
The gas-directed rig count gained seven this week to 631 after slipping last week to its lowest in 10 years, data from Houston-based oil services firm Baker Hughes showed Friday.
The count had risen in only three of the first 16 weeks of the year.
One of the mildest winters on record cut gas demand sharply and built up a huge inventory surplus that pushed prices lower this year. Front-month futures hit another 10-year low of $1.902 per mmBtu on Thursday, a level that has made most dry gas drilling uneconomic....MORE