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Losses in the oil patch deepened in the second half of 2015 and into 2016 along with plummeting prices of crude.
Oil drillers sidelined another 12 rigs this week, bringing the number of rigs chasing crude under 500 for the first time since 2010.
The company forecasts additional tough times in 2016 as crude prices remain stuck around $30 a barrel.
South Texas’ Eagle Ford shale saw four more rigs go dark this week, while West Texas’ Permian Basin lost another three rigs, according to according to weekly data released by oil field services firm Baker Hughes.
The oil-soaked Permian Basin in West Texas, which had remained a favorite among U.S. exploration and production companies despite the prolonged crude slump, showed continued signs of weakness this week.
West Texas’ seemingly resilient Permian Basin led the way with the loss of eight rigs, while southern Texas’ Eagle Ford shale dipped by five rigs, according to weekly data released by oil field services firm Baker Hughes.
The year fittingly ended with the oil rig count declining by two rigs for a 2015 defined by energy austerity as the price of oil plummeted beginning in the latter half of 2014, according to weekly data released by oil field services firm Baker Hughes.
Another three rigs went dark this week as producers found little financial incentive to continue chasing crude while prices remain stuck below $40 a barrel.
This was only the third, double-digit increase in the count of oil rigs this year.
The number of active U.S. drilling rigs fell by 21 this week, Baker Hughes reported Friday, as crude prices continued to sputter in the wake of OPEC’s move to do away with its longstanding output ceiling.