On July 15, the U.S. rig count fell to a record low of 279, according to Enverus Rig Analytics.
The demand destruction caused by the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders, mixed with an already oversupplied oil market, has halted activity more significantly than the late 2014-16 downturn, the firm said.
In that last crash, the U.S. rig count fell to a low of 421 in early May 2016 after hitting a record 1,980 rigs in late November 2014. In the “lower for longer” environment that followed the bust, the rig count in the U.S. peaked at 1,366 in mid-November 2018.
According to Enverus’ daily rig count, the U.S. count bottomed at 278 on July 8 and added 11 rigs by July 12. As of July 15, the count is still down 4.8% in the last month and down 72% in the last year. WTI is hovering around $41/bbl, which is nearly double the price that spurred drastic industry-wide capex cuts, suspension of many drilling and completion programs and significant curtailments.