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U.S. Drilling Activity Continues Its Slide

The total number of total active drilling rigs in the United States fell by 1 this week, according to new data from Baker Hughes published Friday, falling by 53 over the last five weeks.

The total rig count fell to 695 this week-38 rigs below this time last year. The current count is 380 fewer rigs than the rig count at the beginning of 2019, prior to the pandemic.

The number of oil rigs rose by 1 this week to 556. Gas rigs slipped 2, reaching 135. Gas rigs are now 16 below where they were a year ago, while oil rigs are 24 below. Miscellaneous rigs stayed the same at 4.

The rig count in the Permian Basin fell by 2 for the second week in a row-and are now just 1 rig above this same time last year. The rig count in the Eagle Ford stayed the same.

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 4 in the week ending June 2, to 256-the lowest number of completion crews in operation since January. The number of fracking crews have fallen for five weeks in a row, losing a total of 38. The frac spread count is 23 less than this time last year.

Despite the trend of decreasing drilling activity, crude oil production levels in the United States rose in the week ending June 2, to 12.4 million bpd, according to the latest weekly EIA estimates-the highest level since April 2020. U.S. production levels are now up 500,000 bpd versus a year ago.

At 9:04 a.m. ET, the WTI benchmark was trading up $0.10 (+0.14%) on the day at $71.39, down roughly $0.35 per barrel from this time last week.

The Brent benchmark was trading up $0.12 (+0.16%) at $76.08 per barrel on the day, essentially flat compared to this time last week.

WTI was trading at $71.23 minutes after the data release, down 0.08% 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