Baker Hughes Energy Services, in its closely watched report, said that energy companies reduced 53 oil rigs in the week ending May 1, bringing the total number of operating rigs to 325, the lowest level since June 2016.
This represents a decrease of 60% compared to the same week a year ago, when the number of operating rigs was 807.
Raymond James analysts predict the total number of US oil and natural gas rigs will drop from about 800 at the end of 2019 to about 400 by the middle of this year and nearly 200 at the end of 2020. The investment bank predicts that the average number of rigs will reach 225 in 2021.
ExxonMobil and Chevron announced significant cuts in production and investment in the Permian Shale Basin, the primary oilfield that made its growth in recent years the United States the largest oil producer and net exporter for the first time in decades.