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American Drillers Cut Oil Rigs
Photo taken November 1, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen (UNITED STATES)

American Drillers Cut Oil Rigs

April 17 – American energy companies reduced oil rigs for a fourth week to the lowest level since November 2009, as mentioned by Oil Services company Baker Hughes. The energy firms keep slashing spending despite a 50 percent jump in crude futures since hitting a near 13-year low in February.

Drillers cut 3 oil rigs in the week of April 11, bringing the total rig count to 351, Baker Hughes said in its report. The number of American oil rigs operating compares with the 734 rigs operating in the same week a year ago. In 2015, drillers cut on average 18 oil rigs per week for a total of 963 for the year, the biggest annual decline since at least 1988 amid the deepest rout in crude prices in a generation.

Oil prices were hovering around $43 a barrel for the balance of 2016 and about $45 for year 2017. American oil and gas exploration and production firm Pioneer Natural Resources Co, which is the most active oil producer in the Permian basin in Texas, this week said it will add 5 to 10 rigs if oil prices jump to $50 a barrel, which the company expects by the end of 2016 or early 2017.

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