HOUSTON — The U.S. energy industry dramatically increased the pace at which it’s slowing activity, laying down 42 oil rigs this week after several weeks of more conservative numbers.
There are 760 oil rigs operating in the U.S. currently, down from 802 last week, according to data published Friday by oil field services company Baker Hughes.
The decline was the largest one-week drop in the count in a month.
Last week, the oil rig count fell by just 11, and the week before it was down by 12. Those were the smallest week-over-week declines in 2015 and may have suggested the oil industry’s rapid pullback was showing signs of waning.
The pace of the industry’s pullback also quickened in Texas, which saw a total of 29 land rigs go down this week. Last week, the number of land rigs in the state declined by 6, and the week before, the total dropped by just 3.
The U.S. oil rig count is now down 52.8 percent from last year’s peak on Oct. 10.