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U.S. drillers cut 5 oil rigs this week

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Staff Writer | July 20, 2018
oil rig
Oil exploration   More than half the total oil rigs are in the Permian basin

U.S. energy companies this week cut oil rigs by the most in a week since March as the rate of growth has slowed over the past month or so with recent declines in crude prices.

U.S. crude prices are on track to fall for a third week in a row this week as escalating U.S.-China trade tensions threatened to hurt oil demand.

Drillers cut 5 oil rigs in the week to July 20, bringing the total count down to 858, General Electric’s Baker Hughes said.

More than half the total oil rigs are in the Permian basin in west Texas and eastern New Mexico, the nation’s biggest shale oil field. Active units there remained flat this week at 475.

The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is higher than a year ago when 764 rigs were active as energy companies have been ramping up production in anticipation of higher prices in 2018 than previous years.

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