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The U.S. oil and gas rig count fell off a cliff last week shedding 21 active rigs (down 17 oil rigs, 4 gas rigs) punctuating a steady year-long decline. Since January, oil rig counts are down 20.6% (-181) while gas lost 33.7% (-65).

The reason for these losses is simple to understand: tremendous production gains year over year have served to outpace demand, which in turn suppresses per barrel prices, which of course, prompts producers to slow the pace of development. The obvious bad news for upstream service and equipment providers is the end result.

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