In this week's news update, the US rig count drops for the 17th straight week but ConocoPhillips plans to add rigs in 2017.

ConocoPhillips plans to add drilling rigs in 2017 in key U.S. shale acreage based on its expectations for crude price recovery, the company’s CEO announced to investors on April 8.

The company expects to increase the number of rigs in its Eagle Ford acreage in South Texas to 12 in 2017, up from an average of seven this year. In the Bakken, Conoco plans to double its rig count to 10 over the same period.

Conoco slashed its capital spending plan nearly 30 percent to $11.5 billion this year.

Related: Blog: New Assessment Shows Greater Potential for Bakken, Three Forks

US Rig Count Drops for 17th Straight Week

For the 17th straight week, the U.S. oil rig count fell by 11 to 802 in the last week, according to Baker Hughes.

The number of oil drilling rigs has fallen sharply since prices dropped last year. Baker Hughes reports that there are now 36 percent fewer rigs working since a peak of 1,609 in October.

Related: Bakken Beckons for Housing and Amenities

Gas rigs were down 11 to 222 this week, while the U.S. offshore rig count is at 31, down three from last week and down 16 from last year.

For all rigs, including natural gas, the week’s drop was 20 to 1,028.

Superior Silica Sands No Longer Considering Wisconsin Location

Superior Silica Sands announced April 7 that it will no longer pursue the construction of a silica sand processing facility in Independence, Wisconsin.

Related: New Forum Answers Housing Concerns in the Bakken

The subsidiary of Emerge Energy Services says the decision was based on current economic conditions affecting the frac sand industry as a whole, as well as the specific mining and processing economics in Independence.   

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