Rig counts brace for a second round of declines

The catastrophic oil price decline wreaked havoc on the U.S. rotary rig count during 2015, with the industry bracing for a continued slowdown this year. The average U.S. rotary rig count for 2015 was 979.1 active units, a 48% decline in activity compared to the previous year’s average of 1,867.4. During 2015, the average monthly rig count dropped nine times, with the two modest gains reported in July and August. In the 10 most active states, rig usage dropped by an average 47%. The largest percentage drop was reported in California, which suffered a 69% loss of activity. Louisiana experienced the smallest decrease, losing just 30% of its yearly average, due mainly to relatively stable activity in southern areas and the Gulf of Mexico.

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