Here comes the Baker Hughes rig count ...

At 1:00 p.m. ET, we’ll get the latest count of US oil and gas rigs from driller Baker Hughes.

Last week, the number of oil rigs fell by 8 to 660.

The count of combined oil and gas rigs fell by 6 to 888.

Ahead of the data, West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down about 1%, trading near $US59.74 per barrel. The trade lower follows a rally on Thursday that took WTI back above $US60 per barrel.

Last week recorded the slowest pace of declines in this 23-week streak, amid commentary by some analysts that there’s a slowdown in drilling activity.

Here’s a comment we highlighted earlier this week via Morgan Stanley, following an oil and gas industry conference in Houston:

“Within the outlook for improving returns, we heard a consistent message across US shale E&P’s that the focus would be returns and profitability rather than a headlong rush back to volume at any price.”

Here’s the latest chart showing the plunge in the rig count. This will be updated as soon as the numbers cross.

NOW WATCH: Stunning drone video captures the beauty of Canada’s oil province

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.