In this week's news, the rig count rose for the first time since October 2015, OPEC fails to reach a deal on production, Schlumberger announces purchase of another company, and track failure is likely the cause of an Oregon oil train derailment late last week

The number of rigs searching for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by four last week for the first time in eight months to 408, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes.

In its weekly report on June 3, the Houston-based company says the number of rigs seeking oil increased by nine this week to 325, while natural gas rigs declined by five to 82. One rig was listed as miscellaneous.

The last time the rig count increased was Oct. 21, 2015. Last year 868 rigs were active.

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Texas and Alaska each gained three rigs last week, while New Mexico was up two. Oklahoma and Pennsylvania each dropped two rigs while Louisiana lost one.

Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming all had no change.

Schlumberger Acquires Omron Oilfield and Marine

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Schlumberger announced June 3 that it has acquired Omron Oilfield and Marine, a U.S.-based OMRON Corporation group company, which deals with automation technology and solutions.

“The addition of Omron Oilfield and Marine will enable us to strengthen our industrial automation control systems capabilities as part of our long-term strategy to develop an integrated well-construction system,” Ashok Belani, executive vice president, said in a press release from Schlumberger.

Omron Oilfield and Marine, based in Houston, has 139 employees. The company designs, manufactures, sells and provides aftermarket services for automated drive and control systems, power houses, and drillers’ cabins.

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OPEC Countries Fail to Reach Deal on Production

OPEC countries failed June 2 to agree on measures to influence crude supplies and prices. At the same time, officials argued that the group was alive and well, scoffing at suggestions that its authority was eroding to the point where it will soon be negligible.

The decision to take no decision appeared more an illustration of lack of unity, particularly between OPEC rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, according to the Associated Press.

Track Failure Likely Cause of Oregon Train Derailment

Track failure was likely the cause of an oil train derailment in Oregon on June 3 that forced about 100 to be evacuated from their homes.

Eleven rail cars from a 96-car Union Pacific train carrying crude oil from the Bakken derailed near Mosier, Oregon, causing at least one train car to catch fire, according to the Associated Press. No one was injured.

Officials say a failure of the fastener between the railroad tie and the line was likely the problem, but the investigation is continuing.

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