In this week's news update, Suncor Energy acquires a large stake in Canadian Oil Sands, and the rig count hits the lowest number since 1999.

The number of rigs seeking oil and natural gas dropped by 48 last week to 571, according to data from oilfield services company Baker Hughes.

It’s the lowest level since 1999, according to the Houston-based company. The count is down 70 percent from a recent high of 1,929 in November 2014.

The number of rigs searching for oil tumbled by 31 to 467, while natural gas rigs dropped by 17 to 104.

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Texas alone dropped 19 rigs last week, while Oklahoma went down by eight and Louisiana dropped by five. Pennsylvania declined by three, while North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming each declined by two. Ohio lost one rig.

West Virginia, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado, California, Alaska and Arkansas were unchanged.

Suncor Acquires 70 Percent Stake In Canadian Oil Sands
Suncor Energy announced Feb. 5 that it has acquired a roughly 70 percent stake in Canadian Oil Sands.

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About 72.9 percent of Canadian Oil Sands shares equating to nearly 353.3 million common shares and accompanying rights have been tendered to Suncor’s offer, according to the company.

Suncor will take up all tendered shares and those shares will be paid for in accordance with the terms of the offer, initially made Oct. 5 and most recently amended Jan. 22. In January Suncor reached a deal to acquire rival Canadian Oil Sands by raising its all-stock offer. The deal, valued at about $2.93 billion U.S., came days after Suncor’s hostile bid fell short of support from Canadian Oil Sands shareholders.

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