The number of active drilling rigs plunged by 10 last week led by dips in West Texas and Louisiana.
Nine of the losses came from rigs drilling for oil, and two of them were offshore rigs, which factored into the loss for Louisiana, according to weekly figures compiled by the services firm Baker Hughes, a GE company.
The overall rig count is down to 1,016 active rigs, including 824 rigs primarily drilling for crude oil.
Texas dipped by four and is home to 497 active rigs as its total tally fell below 500. But Texas still accounts for nearly half of the nation’s total. West Texas’ booming Permian Basin, which extends into New Mexico, counts 459 rigs all by itself. The Permian makes up 56 percent of all the oil-drilling rigs in the country.
Because of pipeline shortages in West Texas, many companies are continuing to drill Permian wells while leaving more of them uncompleted until new pipelines come online.
The total count is up from an all-time low of 404 rigs in May 2016.
With this week’s dip, the oil rig count is down 49 percent from its peak of 1,609 in October 2014, before oil prices began plummeting. However, rigs today are able to drill more wells than before and to deeper depths to produce more oil and gas. That’s largely why the U.S. is producing record volumes of crude oil and natural gas.