Shale Explorers Halt Drilling Expansion as Oil Dips Below $55

(Bloomberg) -- Shale explorers halted their drilling expansion after oil dipped below $55 a barrel for the first time since last year.

Rigs drilling for crude in the U.S. fell by 3 this week to 885, according to data released Wednesday by oilfield-services provider Baker Hughes.

The prolific Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico has faced some snags this year as surging output overwhelmed the region’s pipelines, forcing producers to sell their barrels at a discount. But plans for three conduits to come online next year have brightened the outlook for explorers that can turn a profit with U.S. benchmark prices as low as $30.

The oil-rig count in the Permian, which has more than tripled since mid-2016, was unchanged from last week at 493.

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