The US oil rig count tumbled 26 to 413 this week, according to driller Baker Hughes.
It’s the lowest level since December 2009.
The total count of oil and gas rigs fell 27 to 514, as only one gas rig was shut down.
Last week, the oil rig count fell by 28, while the combined count of oil and gas rigs dropped 30.
This was the third straight week of a sizeable drop in the rig count, each by at least 26. It’s the biggest three-week drop in a year.
Crude oil prices were lower on Friday afternoon, with West Texas Intermediate crude futures in New York down 3% to as low as $29.14 per barrel.
This week, the Energy Information Administration reported a continued build in inventories, by 2.1 million barrels. This added to evidence of a sustained supply glut that could counter any efforts to freeze production by OPEC members, as was recently reported.
Here’s the latest rig count chart:
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