US rig count plummets to lowest since April

Myles Udland / Mar. 6, 2015, 1:03 PM

The number of US oil and gas rigs in use continues to collapse.

This week, the number of US oil rigs fell by 64 this week to 922, according to the latest data
from Baker Hughes. This is the lowest number of oil rigs in use since the week ending on April
21, 2011.

Combined oil and gas rigs fell by 75 to 1,192, the lowest since the week ending December 31,

By drilling region, the biggest decline came from Texas' Permian shale basin, where 22 rigs were
shut down, while 8 rigs were shut down in the Eagle Ford basin. By state, Texas saw 32 rigs shut
down this week, followed by 7 in New Mexico and 5 in Colorado.

Last week, the number of oil rigs fell by 33 while the number of oil and gas rigs fell by 43.

Friday's rig data comes on the heels of the February jobs report, which showed that nonfarm
payrolls grew by 295,000 in February as the unemployment rate fell to 5.5%. Jobs in the mining
sector, however, which include oil and energy related jobs, fell by 9,000 in February.

And data from staffing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas released on Thursday showed that in
February 16,333 jobs were cut in the energy sector.

The decline in oil rigs has been closely watched as the price of oil has tumbled, and at current
levels, the decline in US oil rig count is about 43%; in January, Baker Hughes said the number of
rigs in use has declined by 40%-60% during past oil downturns.


Here's the latest chart showing the decline: