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The total number of total active drilling rigs in the United States fell by 15 this week, according to new data from Baker Hughes published Friday, falling by 52 over the last four weeks-the largest 4-week dropoff in activity since June 2020.

The total rig count fell to 696 this week-31 rigs below this time last year. The current count is 379 fewer rigs than the rig count at the beginning of 2019, prior to the pandemic.

The number of oil rigs fell by 15 this week to 555. Gas rigs stayed the same at 137. Miscellaneous rigs stayed the same at 4.

The rig count in the Permian Basin fell by 2-to land at just 6 above this time last year. The rig count in the Eagle Ford also fell by 2.

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 2 in the week ending May 26, to 260-the lowest number of completion crews in operation since January. The number of fracking crews have fallen for four weeks in a row, losing a total of 34. Year over year, it is 23 fewer than a year ago.

Crude oil production levels in the United States fell in the week ending May 26, to 12.2 million bpd, according to the latest weekly EIA estimates, as it ping pongs between 12.2 million and 12.3 million bpd where it's been all year. U.S. production levels are up just 300,000 bpd versus a year ago.

At 12:23 p.m. ET, the WTI benchmark was trading up $1.66 (+2.35%) on the day at $71.75 still down almost $1 per barrel from this time last week.

The Brent benchmark was trading up $1.77 (+2.38%) at $76.05 per barrel on the day, down $0.60 per barrel from last Friday.

WTI was trading at $71.448 minutes after the data release, up 1.97% on the day.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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Julianne Geiger

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