U.S. energy firms this week cut the number of active oil and natural gas rigs for an eighth week in a row, energy services firm Baker Hughes said in its closely followed report on Sept. 1.

The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future production, fell by one to 631 in the week to Sept. 1, its lowest since February 2022. 

U.S. oil rigs were unchanged at 512 this week, holding at its lowest since February 2022, while gas rigs fell one to 114, their lowest since January 2022.

U.S. oil futures were up about 6% so far this year after gaining about 7% in 2022. U.S. gas futures, meanwhile, have plunged about 37% so far this year after rising about 20% last year.

U.S. crude oil production increased again in June and is nearing the record high set before the pandemic, while gas output fell from its record high in May, despite peaking in top gas-producing states, Texas and Pennsylvania, latest government data showed this week.

The pace of growth, however, is slowing as the industry responds to weaker prices.

After oil prices soared in June 2022 following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the number of oil rigs climbed until late November, but has since fallen about 18%, while the gas rig count has dropped about 30% since its last peak in March.