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Oil rig count drops for 11th straight week

Staff writer ▼ | March 4, 2016
Data from driller Baker Hughes showed that the oil rig count fell by 8 to 392 this week. It's the lowest count since the week of December 4, 2009.
Oil rig count
Oil and gas industry   The lowest rig count since the week of December 4, 2009
The tally of gas rigs fell 5 to 97, taking the total rig count down 13 to 489, one rig above the lowest level in about 70 years.

The combined count of oil and gas rigs has plummeted in the last few weeks. Last week, the oil rig count fell by 13, while the gas count rose by one.

Analysts forecast the rig count will bottom in a few months before recovering later this year when they expect crude prices to rise.

U.S. crude futures rallied 10 percent to almost $36 a barrel this week, on track for a third week of gains on talks between major producers to freeze production.

Exploration and production firms on average have slashed their capital budgets by about 49 percent in 2016 compared with 2015 due to the continued collapse in oil prices earlier this year, according to analysts at Bernstein, a research and brokerage firm in New York.