U.S. oil and gas rig count dropped in 2023 after rising in the previous two years, energy services firm Baker Hughes said in its closely followed report on Dec. 29.

For this week U.S. energy firms added oil and natural gas rigs for the first time in three weeks.

Despite this week's rig increase, Baker Hughes said the total count was still down 157 rigs, or 20.15%, below this time last year.

Analysts have said the rig count was down from a post-pandemic high of 784 rigs in December 2022 due mostly to a drop in oil and gas prices.

U.S. oil futures were down about 10% so far this year after gaining 7% in 2022. U.S. gas futures, meanwhile, have plunged more than 40% so far this year after rising about 20% last year.

Baker Hughes said U.S. oil rigs rose two to 500 this week, their highest since Dec. 15, while gas rigs were unchanged at 120.

For the month, the oil and gas rigs were unchanged after falling three rigs in November. The overall rig count was down for a fourth quarter in a row for the first time since 2020.