Oil prices were falling Friday, even as U.S. oil and gas producers finally seem to be slowing the relentless pace of drilling witnessed over the first half of 2017

Baker Hughes (BHGE) - Get Report reported Friday, July 14, that the count of active drilling rigs fell by two, with oil-directed rigs dropping by one to 764 units and natural gas-directed rigs declining by one to 186, bringing to total count to 950.

West Texas Intermediate crude contracts for August delivery were trading down about 2.3% around the time of the 1 p.m. Baker Hughes report to $45.83 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent crude futures were down by about 2.2% to $48.21.

The U.S. rig count is up 488 rigs from this time last year when it stood at 462, according to Baker Hughes. Oil rigs are up by 393 year over year, and gas rigs climbed 98, while miscellaneous rigs are down by three. The lucrative west Texas Permian Basin continues to see the greatest rig activity, adding one this week after seeing its count rise by four in the previous frame. The Permian now boasts 374 rigs, while the nearest active U.S. basin, the Eagle Ford Shale in south Texas, is down by two this week to 78 overall.

Meanwhile, the U.S. offshore count climbed by two this week to 23 units. The offshore count is up four rigs year over year.

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