The market has been waiting for the slowdown in the rig count to stop as crude prices have rebounded over the past few months, but this week’s slowdown showed oil drillers were not yet done cutting the number of rigs.
Energy firms pulled another seven rigs from U.S. oil fields this week, the most since late May, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday in its closely followed report.
That was the 27th straight weekly decline, bringing the total rig count down to 635, the lowest since August 2010.
Drillers this week added a rig in just one basin, the Granite Wash located in the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma.
With Saudi Arabia and Iraq pumping oil at record or near record levels, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries last week kept its output target at 30 million barrels per day as it tries to keep crude prices low to support global oil demand growth while retaining market share by driving out more expensive producers, like U.S. shale drillers.