The Number Of US Oil Rigs Has Dropped Almost 20% From Its October High

The Baker Hughes US oil and gas rig count is out, and it shows yet another weekly decline.

In the wake of tumbling oil prices, Baker Hughes, the $US25 billion oil services company that publishes out the weekly rig count, announced Tuesday that they would be laying off 7,000 employees over the next few months.

BHP, an Australian mining giant, also said this week that they would shut down 40% of their US shale drilling rigs by the end of their fiscal year.

And so while the weekly count includes oil and natural gas rigs, this week 49 oil rigs shut down while 6 natural gas rigs were brought online. Oil is where the action is.

In its earnings announcement on Tuesday, Baker Hughes said that in previous down cycles for rig use, the number of rigs in use has fallen from 40%-60%.

Since topping out at 1,609 in October 2014, the number of oil rigs in use in the US has fallen 18% to 1,317.

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