Shale drilling climbs to levels not seen since early pandemic

David Wethe July 29, 2022

(Bloomberg) — Shale explorers are searching for oil at rates not seen since the early weeks of the pandemic as high crude prices incentivize drilling.   

Oil rigs operating in US fields increased by 6 this week to 605, marking the biggest weekly expansion since June 24, according to Baker Hughes Co. data released Friday. It was the seventh weekly increase in the past two months.

Benchmark US oil futures have risen almost 30% this year amid rebounding energy demand and supply disruptions around the world.

Closely held oil drillers are leading the production rush in the Permian Basin as they aim to catch the acquisitive eye of public rivals looking to expand. Chevron Corp. told investors on Friday they can do more with less equipment, given that a single rig now can do the same work that required two as recently as 2018.

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