U.S. rig count down one this week, first decline in two months


The number of oil rigs in U.S. fields fell by one this week, the first overall decline in two months, the Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday.

At the same time, U.S. oil drillers collectively sent two more rigs into the patch.

The total rig count dipped to 568, up from a low of 404 in May. Totals still lag the same period last year, when 767 drilling rigs were operating in U.S. oil and gas fields.

The number of active oil rigs rose to 452 this week. Gas rigs slipped two to 115. Uncategorized rigs fell one. The number of offshore rigs stagnated at 21, down 12 year over year.

Rig counts fell by two in Alaska, two in North Dakota and one in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Utah.

Texas almost made up the difference, adding six rigs — including three in the Eagle Ford, which watched drillers flee after the oil price crash two years ago.

U.S. drilling activity has followed the modest rebound in prices, from February’s low of $26 a barrel to more than $50 in recent weeks.

Prices slipped again this week, however, dropping to just over $43 a barrel in trading around noon on Friday.