Oil industry is ‘Wishin’ and Hopin’ and Thinkin’ and Prayin’


Amy Joi O’Donoghue, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Active drilling rigs in the nation’s top 10 oil- and gas-producing counties are down 57 percent over the 2015 average and overall, the U.S. rig count continues to diminish week by week in the face of slumping prices.

In fact, a top industry analyst said Wednesday that the current crisis across the industry is worse than what the nation experienced in the 1980s, when the price of a barrel of crude oil plunged six consecutive years, and by more than half in 1986 alone.

By comparison, U.S. crude oil prices have dropped as much as 70 percent since 2014, and more than 4,000 production wells initiated by companies have been left unfinished.

“The wild card is how long it will take before it gets better,” said Trey Cowan, a senior research analyst with RigData, which tracks, analyzes and disseminates industry activity.

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