In what may be a sign of another protracted rig decline, U.S. drillers dropped eight rigs last week.

According to Baker Hughes, the number of oil and gas rigs drilling in the United States fell to 787 rigs as of the week ending on October 16, less than half of the   1,918 rigs operating during the same time last year.

The loss marks the seventh straight week of a U.S. rig count decline and the first time since May 2002 that the count has slipped under 790, according to data provided by Baker Hughes.

The oil rig count dropped by 10 last week, pulling the nation’s oil rig count down to 595 from 1,590 rigs drilling a year ago.

Drillers managed to push the gas rig count up to 192 after adding three rigs last week.

The directional drill count also posted a three rig gain while the horizontal drill count dove by seven to 591 rigs, down from 1,353 rigs a year ago.

The vertical rig count fell by four to 110 rigs.

Rig counts in Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia held steady from last week.

Colorado and North Dakota each lost one rig last week while Texas and Oklahoma lost two rigs each.

New Mexico booked the largest rig decline of all major states last week with a five rig loss.

California gained one rig, Wyoming added two rigs and Louisiana gained three rigs last week.

Drillers in the Eagle Ford Basin, located in Texas, dropped four rigs last week while the state’s Permian Basin lost two rigs.

The Williston Basin, home of the Bakken shale play, saw its count dip to 64 from 193 rigs last year after losing one rig last week.

The Cana Woodford Basin also lost one rig and the Granite Wash Basin gained one rig.

Canada gained one rig overall after losing one gas rig but gaining two oil rigs.

The Gulf of Mexico’s rig count ticked up to 32 rigs after the region also gained one rig.


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