Oil and Natural Gas Rig Count in the U.S Drop to Record Low

This week, the U.S rigs exploring oil and natural gas dropped in count by nine to 480. That is a record low and mirrors the continuing economic troubles faced by the oil and gas industry.

On Friday, oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported that the number of rigs exploring oil was 386 and those exploring natural gas was 94.

One year back the number of active rigs was 1,125. In September 2014, when the boom heightened the count increased to 1,931. But since then, it has dropped steadily with sliding oil prices which came down to approximately $30 a barrel which was a stark difference compared to $100 a barrel two years back.

The number of rigs serves as an indicator of the vigor and stability in the energy prices. It also marks the health of the oil and gas industry in the country. The peak of the
U.S. rig counts were marked with 4,530 in 1981, the lowest was 488 in 1999.

BP Plc said it will trim its rigs in its Prudhoe Bay field to two from the current five and that will cost two hundred or more contracting jobs.

This week, federal estimates revealed that the oil output in the U.S was expected to drop from 9.4 million bpd (barrels per day) in 2015 to 8.7 million bpd in 2016 and further down to 8.2 million bpd in 2017.