Oil rig count falls

The US oil rig count fell by 10 to 564 this week, according to driller Baker Hughes.

The total rig count also fell by 10, to 757, with gas rigs unchanged at 193. The total is now down 1,010 from a year ago.

Last week, the oil rig count rose for the first time in three months, by 2, and to a total of 574. The combined tally of oil and gas rigs fell by 4 for a second straight week, to 767.

The oil rig count has been something to watch over the past year or so, as drillers took equipment offline in response to the now-60% plunge in oil prices.

And earlier this week, crude oil fell below $US40 per barrel once again, for the first time since August. When West Texas Intermediate crude fell below that level three months ago, it was for the first time since 2009. Data on US oil inventories earlier this week from the Energy Information Administration proved that crude stockpiles continue to mount.

Here’s the latest rig count chart:

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