North American energy firms have cut the number of oil and natural gas rigs operating to a record low even as higher oil prices prompt some producers to start drilling again.

The number of rigs drilling for hydrocarbons in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) has averaged 33 during the second quarter thus far, showing a nine-rig, or 21%, drop compared to the first-quarter average, according to Enverus Rig Analytics.

If the situation holds constant through the remainder of the quarter, this would be the lowest level of GoM rig activity in Enverus’ data, which dates back to second-quarter 2014. After bottoming at a quarterly average of 34 in fourth-quarter 2016 after the last oil bust, the count has stayed in a tight range around 40. This compared to a peak of 72 in fourth-quarter 2014.

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