Oil rig count falls for 10th straight week

The US oil rig count fell by 13 to 400 this week, according to driller Baker Hughes.

It’s the lowest tally since the week of December 11, 2009.

Gas rigs rose by one to 102, and the total count fell 12 to 502.

In the prior period, the tally fell 26, while the combined count of oil and gas rigs declined by 27 as one gas rig was shut down.

In a client note on Thursday exploring the impact of the energy sector on economic growth, Morgan Stanley’s Ellen Zentner wrote:

The rig count in the US has moved alongside oil prices, and it is the rig count that the Bureau of Economic Analysis uses as a direct input to estimating the energy investment component within GDP. Over the past several weeks, the rig count has fallen at a 94% annualized pace — down to 514 in the week ending February 19th, from 619 at the end of January and 700 at the end of December. This suggests the direct drag on GDP from energy investment is not over.

Earlier, the second estimate of fourth-quarter GDP showed that the economy grew 1%, better than forecast.

After the data release, West Texas Intermediate crude in New York was up about 1% and near $33.47 per barrel.

Here’s the latest rig count chart:

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