U.S. energy firms this week cut the number of oil and natural gas rigs operating for a fifth week in a row, energy services firm Baker Hughes said in its closely followed report on August 11.

The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, fell by five to 654 in the week to Aug. 11, the lowest since March 2022. 

That was also the 14th time in the last 15 weeks that drillers cut rigs.

Baker Hughes said that puts the total rig count down 109 rigs, or 14%, below this time last year.

After falling for eight weeks in a row, the number of oil rigs held steady at 525 this week, while gas rigs fell five to 123, their lowest since February 2022.

U.S. oil futures have recently recovered, rising for for seven straight weeks, and were up about 3.1% so far this year after gaining about 7% in 2022. U.S. gas futures, meanwhile, have plunged about 40% so far this year after rising about 20% last year.

U.S. crude production was on track to rise from 11.9 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2022 to 12.8 million bbl/d in 2023 and 13.1 million bbl/d in 2024, according to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in August.

Despite the drop in gas prices, U.S. gas production was on track to rise from a record 98.13 billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd) in 2022 to 103 Bcfd in 2023 and 104.1 Bcfd in 2024, according to EIA's projection.