(Bloomberg) — The US natural gas industry is pulling back on exploration at the fastest pace in seven years amid tumbling prices for the heating and power plant fuel.
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Rigs searching for natural gas declined by 16 to 141 this week, according to data released Friday by Baker Hughes Co. The 10% drop is the sharpest weekly pullback since February 2016.
Some of the world’s biggest contractors have been predicting a slowdown in gas drilling over the past month. Gas prices have plummeted about 75% since reaching a peak last August amid lower demand and constrained export capacity.
Gas futures climbed Friday after the rigs data was released. Prices jumped as much as 6.6%.
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