The number of US oil and gas rigs in operation dropped again last week.
The latest active rig count data from oil driller Baker Hughes showed that total rigs in operation fell by 18 last week to 1,875.
The prior week, the rig count fell by 27 — to 1,893 from 1,920 the prior week — which was the biggest weekly drop in almost two years.
The number of rigs in operation is seen a leading indicator on drilling activity, which is being closely watched amid the massive decline in oil prices seen over the last several months.
Among major US shale plays, rigs in operation in the Permian Basin fell by 9, Williston rigs declined by 7, and Marcellus rigs declined by 1.
Eagle Ford rigs in use, however, rose by 2 last week.
The biggest declines in the report were in Canada, where oil rigs in operation fell by 25, from 215 to 190, as gas rigs fell 15 to 201 from 216. With the drop on Friday, total Canada rigs in operation are now below year-ago levels at 391 against 398 last year.
Here’s the last year of US weekly total rig counts.
But as you can see from the multi-year chart, last week’s big drop was still just a blip.
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