Number of Oil Rigs Operating in the U.S. Falls to 3 Year Low

Down nearly one-third since October of last year

The number of oil rigs operating in the United States fell this week to the lowest number since December 2011.

The rig count fell by 83 to 1,140, according to oilfield services firm Baker Hughes Inc., which releases weekly rig count reports.

The decline is following the the eight-month-long drop in oil prices, which had risen above $50 a barrel this week after falling below $45.

The number of rigs is 29 percent below its all-time peak in mid-October, Baker Hughes’s figures show.

“The count is continuing to fall in direct relation to exploration and production companies' reevaluation of the economics and capex budgets,” Kyle Cooper of IAF Advisors told Reuters.

Texas, which has the most rigs, also lost the most, declining by 41 to 654, the lowest point since 2010, Baker Hughes said.

The Permian basin in Texas and New Mexico saw the sharpest declines of any drilling area in the country.