Friday, June 1, 2012

Natural Gas Rig Count Down 6 (Yawn)

We've been saying the count has to fall into the high 400's for the E&P's announced cutbacks to be taken seriously.
Platt's has 540 as a target but the number is a couple weeks old and may not take into account the gas being produced as a "byproduct" of the hunt for liquids.
The near futures were at $2.325, down 4% or 9.7 cents.
From Reuters:
US natgas rig count near 13-year low
The U.S. natural gas drilling rig count fell to its lowest level since Oct. 1999 
as low gas prices curbed drilling in the country's shale gas outposts, data
from oil services firm Baker Hughes showed on Friday.
The gas-directed rig count fell by six to 588, after falling by the same 
amount last week, according to the data. 
Gas drilling has become largely uneconomical with current
prices, forcing drillers to move rigs to more lucrative oil
plays. The gas-directed rig count is some 63 percent lower than
the record highs in Sep. 2008. 
The oil rig count rose by three to a new 25-year high of
1,386 this week, according to Baker Hughes.
The number of horizontal rigs, the type most often used to
extract oil or gas from shale, fell by eight to 1,183 after
hitting an all time high in the week to May 18. 
Some analysts have suggested that 600 natural gas rigs are
about enough to prevent gas storage from overflowing this
summer. Baker Hughes forecasts show the number of rigs drilling
for natural gas in the United States will be 534 at the end of
this year, down 275 from a year earlier.
Other analysts argue that still deeper cuts will be needed
unless unusually hot weather stokes utility demand. 
U.S. natural gas production in the lower 48 states fell for
a second straight month in March, down 4 percent to 71.76
billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) from the 72.02 bcfd produced
in February, according to data from the Energy Information
The rig data did little to lift gas futures prices, which
remained lower for a fifth time in six sessions.
 As of 1:06 p.m. EDT, front-month July natural gas futures on
the New York Mercantile Exchange were at $2.341 per
million British thermal units, down 8.1 cents, or more than 3

As we saw yesterday the March decline should read 0.4% rather than 4 percent: 
Natural Gas: EIA Monthly Production Report--Down 0.4% for March