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The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. has dropped by 12, according to Baker Hughes Inc., an oilfield services company. As of the week of March 31, 2016, there were 464 rigs, which is a new record low. There are 372 rigs exploring for oil and 92 rigs are looking for natural gas. One year ago there were 1,048 rigs. The rig count in the U.S. peaked at 4,530 rigs in 1981 and bottomed out in 1999 at 488 rigs.
The rig count reflects a drop in overall production in the U.S. over the last year. In June 2015, the U.S. produced approximately 9.5 million barrels of oil and liquid fuels per day. Since then production has dropped to 9.2 million barrels a day. Expect further drops in oil production as the rig count continues to decrease.
Source: Paul Thares, South Dakota State University
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