US energy companies cut the number of oil rigs operating for a fifth straight week to their lowest level in nearly a year as independent producers implement plans to cut spending on new drilling activities as the government slows its forecast for oil production growth.
On Friday, Baker Hughes Energy Services said in its weekly follow-up report that drilling companies had shut down nine oil excavators in the week ending March 22, bringing the total to 824, the lowest level since April 2018.
This is the first time that the number of active oil rigs in the US has fallen for five consecutive weeks since May 2016, when it fell for eight straight weeks.
More than half of the total number of oil rigs in the Permian basin, the largest rocky oil field in America, has been shut down by drilling companies operating six excavators this week to reach 459, the lowest level since May 2018
The total number of active oil rigs in the United States, a preliminary indicator of future production, is still slightly higher than a year ago when it hit 804 after energy companies boosted spending in 2018 to take advantage of higher prices that year.
According to the Baker Hughes report, the number of oil and natural gas rigs active in the United States this week was 1016. Most of the excavators produce both oil and gas.