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Shale drilling is ramping up to levels not seen since the pandemic began

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David Wethe 07/29/2022

(Bloomberg) — Shale explorers are searching for oil at a rate not seen since the first weeks of the pandemic, as high crude prices spur drilling.

The number of oil rigs operating at U.S. fields rose by 6 to 605 this week, marking the biggest weekly increase since June 24, Baker Hughes Co. data showed on Friday. It was the seventh weekly increase in the past two months.

Benchmark U.S. oil futures are up nearly 30% this year amid renewed energy demand and supply disruptions around the world.

Closely held oil drillers are leading the production frenzy in the Permian Basin as they seek to attract the attention of publicly traded rivals looking to expand. Chevron Corp. told investors on Friday that it can do more with less equipment, given that one rig can now do the same job that required two back in 2018.


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