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U.S. Drilling Rigs Swing To Annual Loss For First Time In Years

The total number of total active drilling rigs in the United States fell by 11 this week, according to new data from Baker Hughes published Friday, after falling by 17 last week.

The total rig count fell to 720 this week-8 rigs below this time last year. It is the first year-over-year loss in the number of active drilling rigs in the United States since April 2021. The current count is 355 fewer rigs than the rig count at the beginning of 2019, prior to the pandemic.

The decline in the number of rigs was entirely attributed to oil rigs, which fell by 11 this week to 575. Gas rigs stayed the same at 141. Miscellaneous rigs stayed the same at 4.

The rig count in the Permian Basin fell by 4, while the rig count in the Eagle Ford fell by 3.

Primary Vision's Frac Spread Count, an estimate of the number of crews completing unfinished wells-a more frugal use of finances than drilling new wells, fell by 10 for the week ending May 12, to 272. This is 11 fewer finishing crews than a month ago, and 12 fewer than a year ago.

Crude oil production levels in the United States fell in the week ending May 12, from 12.3 million bpd to 12.2 million bpd, according to the latest weekly EIA estimates. U.S. production levels are up just 300,000 bpd versus a year ago.

At 12:18 p.m. ET, the WTI benchmark was trading down $0.28 (-0.39%) on the day at $71.58, up $1.20 per barrel from this time last week.

The Brent benchmark was trading down $0.22 (-0.29%) at $75.64 per barrel on the day, down $1.30 per barrel from last Friday.

WTI was trading at $71.67 minutes after the data release, down 0.26% on the day.

By Julianne Geiger for

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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group. More