Amid falling crude oil prices, oil/gas drillers idled more rigs at year-end. Oil prices fell to their lowest level in more than five years.
Speculation continues to permeate global markets that a worldwide supply glut has driven crude into a bear market that will continue through the first half of 2015.
In the last full week of 2014 ending last Friday, Baker Hughes' count of oil rigs actively looking or drilling for oil fell to 1,499, down 37 from a week earlier and off 110 from an October high of 1,609. Rigs drilling for gas were up by two to 340.
Texas' active total onshore active rigs fell to 851 from 867 in mid-December and is down 54 from a recent high of 905 at the end of November.
Most recently, WTI oil prices dropped as much as 2.2%, erasing an earlier gain. Internationally, fires recently raged at three of six tanks in Libya's largest oil port. They were set ablaze after an attack by militants, according to news reports from Libya’s National Oil Corp., adding another level of uncertainty regarding world oil supplies.