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Jones drops western Anadarko rigs

Meanwhile, US independent ramps up in emerging Merge play of Oklahoma

Jones Energy is now running a single rig on its acreage in the western Anadarko basin of Oklahoma, down from three at the beginning of the year, as low oil prices continue to weigh on the industry.

Returns on the acreage have become stressed in the lower-for-longer price environment, chief executive Jonny Jones said at Hart Energy's DUG Midcontinent conference on Thursday.

"We've also seen some cost inflation there in our fracks and our tubulars, so we'll remain with one rig there for the rest of this year," he added.

Meanwhile, the company is ramping up in the emerging Merge play, between the prolific Scoop and Stack plays. Jones added a second rig there in July, and plans to hire a third in the fourth quarter of this year, as the company focuses on delineating the Merge.

Beyond 2017, the company will aim to run six rigs on the Merge acreage, Jones said.