Report: Number of oil, gas rigs increased last week

The continued rise in drilling activity in the U.S. prompted an increase in the number of oil and gas rigs last week, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes. Compared with the week before, the number of total rigs last week increased by nine, to 1,078, while the number of gas rigs increased by six, to 734, the company reported.  The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires

Group touts benefits of natural gas

Lawmakers should look into the benefits natural gas can offer to renewable-energy development and energy security, America’s Natural Gas Alliance President Rod Lowman said. “Climate and energy legislation, which aims to reduce America’s carbon footprint and enhance our energy security, must encourage the use of abundant, clean, American natural gas,” he added.  United Press International

Biofuels could fill almost 10% of transport needs by 2030, oil exec saysv

Next-generation biofuels could supply nearly 10% of global demand for transportation fuel by 2030, said BP CEO Tony Hayward during an industry conference in London. He also mentioned that renewable fuels have “more significant” potential than electric cars in securing a clean-energy future.

Hayward, however, recommended against “a revolution” in changing the existing energy mix, which is dominated by fossil fuels. Such moves risk “rendering the entire global effort both politically and economically unsustainable, and I don’t believe the world can afford that,” he added.  New York Times, The/Green Inc.

Ethanol businesses help Nebraska control its unemployment rate

Nebraska’s ethanol industry directly employs about 1,000 people and helps the state keep its unemployment level at 4.9%, compared with the U.S. average of 9.8%. Corn supplier Jeff Shaner said rising oil prices have boosted the ethanol sector after a long period of financial struggles. Shaner, however, is keeping an eye on the future of corn as an ethanol feedstock, citing the food-versus-fuel debate and developments in using other sources such as switchgrass to make fuel.  CNN