Aug 17, 2020 - Energy & Environment

U.S. oil-and-gas drilling continues to decline

Data: Baker Hughes; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Baker Hughes; Chart: Axios Visuals

The combined number of active U.S. oil and natural gas drilling rigs slid again last week, per data compiled by the oilfield services firm Baker Hughes.

Why it matters: It signals the pullback in new development that will keep U.S. output below pre-pandemic levels for a long time.

  • Existing shale wells decline quickly, so the big slowdown in creating new ones is a proxy for future output, albeit a loose one.

Where it stands: The number of active oil rigs declined by four to reach 172, compared to 770 a year ago, while one gas rig was added.

Go deeper: Downturn has yet to reach bottom for drilling rig operators (Houston Chronicle)

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