The U.S. rig count decline showed no signs of letting up last week as drillers shed another 40 rigs, marking the nineteenth consecutive week of losses.
Baker Hughes said the total U.S. rig count dropped by 40 rigs to 998 rigs as of April 10, down from 1,028 rigs the week before.
Last week’s drop is the first time since September 2009 that the U.S. rig count has fallen below 1,000.
Rigs looking for oil fell by 42 to 760 rigs, down about 50 percent from 1,517 oil rigs drilling a year ago.
The directional well count sunk by three to 90 rigs while the horizontal rig count slipped to 770 rigs, a 29 rig drop from last week and down from 1,224 rigs a year ago.
Vertical rigs dropped by eight last week to 128 rigs, a significant fall off from 391 rigs last year.
The last time U.S. drillers saw so many weeks of consecutive losses was in late 2008 to early 2009 when the rig count fell eighteen weeks in a row.
Despite the falling oil rig count, U.S. gas drillers managed to add three rigs last week, reversing weeks of declines.
The U.S. gas rig count jumped to 225 rigs, up from 222 rigs the previous week but down from 310 gas rigs a year ago.
Texas drillers continued to hit the brakes on drilling activity, losing 29 rigs last week, more than every other state included in the count combined.
The Permian Basin led the drops in Texas with 21 rigs lost last week while the Eagle Ford shale play lost 12 rigs.
Oklahoma saw the second largest rig count dip with a five rig loss bringing the state’s total count to 124 rigs last week.
Rig counts in Alaska, California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia held steady at last week’s levels.
The Gulf of Mexico lost one rig, bringing the area’s count to 31 rigs, while Canada’s count fell to 99 rigs after a one rig loss.
North America lost a total of 41 rigs last week, dropping the region’s total count to 1,087 rigs.