/HOUSTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – U.S. energy firms
are swiftly shifting drilling rigs away from less productive
areas and hunkering down in sweet spots of North Dakota and
Texas shale oil fields as they try to lift output and cut costs
in response to the toughest crude market in years.
Rig deployments or applications for new well permits fell by
half in recent months in parts of North Dakota’s Bakken
formation and the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin in Texas, but the
most prolific areas are holding up, according to officials and
data from the two top crude-producing states.