For the first time since 1999, the oil and gas rig count in the United States has fallen below 700, another significant indicator of low oil prices and a flattening of the shale oil boom that has prevailed in recent years.
In Colorado, the number of active drilling rigs was down by almost two-thirds at the end of 2015 compared to the conclusion of 2014 – 24 as compared to 66.
Baker Hughes, which monitors the number of active rigs in the country, put the U.S. total at 698 during the last week of the year, down than a thousand from the end of 2014.
Among other active rig counts in the West:
Wyoming’s rig count stood at 17, down from 56 at the end of 2014.
North Dakota’s rig count in the Bakken Field stood at 53, down from 169.
Despite the low rig counts, U.S. oil and gas stockpiles are the highest they’ve been in decades. Oil prices are still low, with the U.S. benchmark below $40 a barrel as the New Year arrived.