A week after the biggest single-week decline in six months, the number of U.S. rigs drilling for oil and natural gas continued to fall in the past week, Baker Hughes said Friday.
The combined tally fell by eight, the Houston oil field services provider said in its weekly report, to 822. That’s down 245 from the same week a year ago — and the lowest level since March 2017.
The number seeking oil fell by five, to 691, while gas-directed rigs lost three, to 130.
The number of oil rigs at work now is down 183 from a year ago, and gas rigs are down 63.
Texas lost another pair in the past week, leaving 416 at work. That’s down 117 from a year ago. Oklahoma lost three, to 51, and New Mexico lost two, to 108.
Louisiana gained two, making 56 at work there.
No gains were seen across the major U.S. basins. The West Texas-New Mexico Permian lost one, to 416. The East Texas-Louisiana Haynesville Shale lost one, to 51.
Despite the number of oil rigs falling for 10 of the past 11 weeks, production continued at 12.6 million barrels per day for a fourth straight week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. That’s up from 11.7 million barrels per day at the beginning of the year.
Strong production and global economic worries have kept prices low, and oil was on track for another weekly loss.
Benchmark U.S. crude was up about 1.6% by early afternoon Friday, to $55.02 per barrel in New York. Brent, the international benchmark, was trading at $60.42 per barrel, up about 1.3% in London.
Domestic crude is down about 15% from highs reached in April.