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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Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 15, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Oil faces "treacherous" path as COVID-19 digs in

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The International Energy Agency this morning cut its estimate for the pace of global oil demand recovery from the depths of the pandemic-fueled collapse, and warned that "uncertainty created by COVID-19 shows little sign of abating."

Driving the news: The agency now projects that full-year 2020 global demand will be 8.4 million barrels per day less than in 2019, compared to 8.1 mbd in last month's estimate.

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.