Shale Drilling Slides to Lowest Level of Activity Since 2022

image is BloomburgMedia_SEPZLHDWX2PS00_10-06-2024_12-00-07_638535744000000000.jpg

An active oil drilling rig stands in Midland, Texas, U.S, on Thursday, April 23, 2020. The price for the U.S. benchmark for crude oil, West Texas Intermediate, dropped below zero for the first time in history this month amid a global oil glut. Photographer: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg

Drilling in the US shale patch dropped to the lowest level in almost two-and-a-half years as operators vow to make good on promises to investors for subdued production growth this year.

The number of US rigs drilling for oil fell by four to 492, the lowest since January 2022, according to data released Friday by Baker Hughes Co.. The rig count is down 1.6% so far this year, while oil prices are up 5.6% in the same period.


After fewer rigs delivered better than expected output last year, US shale executives are now slowing activity amid shrinking inventory of top-tier drilling locations, industry consolidation and promises to return profits to shareholders. Total spending by North American explorers is forecast to drop 1% this year, according to Barclays PLC.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By David Wethe


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