The number of U.S. rigs drilling for oil and natural gas declined by four in the past week as a steep decline in oil prices continued.
In its weekly report Friday, Baker Hughes said the number of rigs seeking oil was down one, to 675, while the number seeking gas fell three, to 112. That made the combined tally 790.
A year ago, 1,045 units were at work.
Texas and Louisiana lost a pair of rigs apiece.
The latest loss in Texas pushed the total in the nation’s most active drilling state to 395, down from 514 a year ago. Louisiana finished the week with 52 rigs standing.
Alaska lost one, to nine. Rig counts were flat in other major producing states.
By major basin, the East Texas-Louisiana Haynesville Shale and Oklahoma’s Cana Woodford were the week’s big losers, shedding a pair of rigs apiece. That left 41 units at work in the Haynesville and 19 in Cana Woodford.
The West Texas-New Mexico Permian Basin added one, to 406. South Texas’ Eagle Ford added one, to 70, and the panhandle’s Granite Wash also added one, the only rig at work there. Two other Oklahoma plays — the Ardmore Woodford and DJ Niobrara — added one apiece.
Despite reductions in rigs at work this year, domestic oil production continued at a record 13 million barrels per day for a third straight week, according to the latest information from the federal Energy Information Administration.
Strong supply and fears over the spread of the coronavirus cutting into demand have hammered prices, which were on track Friday to finish January down 15%, the steepest January slide in nearly 30 years.
By early afternoon Friday, U.S. crude was trading for about $51.25, on track to close down about $3 from a week earlier, when West Texas intermediate closed at $54.19.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading for about $56.40, also down from a week earlier, when it closed at $59.89.
Henry Hub natural gas was trading at $1.84 per million British thermal units, near its 52-week low of $1.81 per and down about 5% from a week earlier.