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Drilling Sinks to Record U.S. Low With Oil Sector in Retreat

  • American oil exploration at lowest since birth of shale boom
  • U.S. shale ‘forever altered’: EOG Resources CEO Bill Thomas
An active oil drilling rig in Midland, Texas, on Thursday, April 23, 2020.

An active oil drilling rig in Midland, Texas, on Thursday, April 23, 2020.

Photographer: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg
Updated on

Oil and natural gas exploration plunged to an all-time low as the economic and industrial dislocations from the Covid-19 pandemic snuffed out the remnants of the American shale boom.

Drilling in U.S. oil and gas fields retreated by 34 rigs this week to 374, led by a precipitous drop in crude exploration that sank to levels not seen since before the shale-oil revolution kicked off at the beginning of the last decade.