In this week's news update, Whiting Petroleum is making big spending cuts, and Chesapeake Energy is no longer drilling new wells in the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays.

Chesapeake Energy announced Feb. 26 that it will decrease costs by halting further drilling of new wells in the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays.

The Oklahoma City company put in three new wells in the Marcellus in 2015, compared to 25 wells in 2014.

Chesapeake pumps more oil than every U.S. producer other than Exxon Mobil Corp., but has been restructuring, closing offices, selling parts of its portfolio and shrinking its workforce the last several months.

Related: 4 Reasons You Should Expand into the Marcellus Shale

Rig Count Drops by 12 to 502
The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 12 last week to 502, according to data from oilfield services company Baker Hughes on Feb. 26.

The Houston-based company says 400 rigs were seeking oil and 102 for natural gas. A year ago, 1,267 rigs were active.

Texas declined by five rigs, New Mexico dropped by three, Alaska and California each declined by two and Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wyoming each dropped by one.

Related: 10 Awesome Apps for the Oil & Gas Industry

Louisiana gained two rigs and West Virginia gained one.

Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, North Dakota and Oklahoma were all unchanged.

Whiting Petroleum Cutting Spending
North Dakota’s largest oil producer, Whiting Petroleum Corp., says it will cut all spending by 80 percent in the state and suspend its well completion operations in April due to low crude oil prices.

Related: New Interest in Upper Devonian Shale Spurs Oil & Gas Exploration

The Denver-based company said Feb. 25 that it will operate only two rigs in North Dakota. The company says it expects to pump 128,000 to 138,000 barrels per day, down from about 155,000 barrels it produced in the fourth quarter of 2015.

At the end of 2016, Whiting expects to have 73 wells drilled but uncompleted.

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