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)