The total Baker Hughes North American rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, declined to 949 from 954 in the week ending August 11th.

Drillers added three oil rigs in the week, bringing the total count up to 768, extending a 15-month drilling recovery, but the pace of additions has slowed in recent months as firms cut spending plans in reaction to declining crude prices.

There were 396 active oil rigs during the same week a year ago. Drillers have added rigs in 56 of the 63 weeks since the beginning of June 2016.

There was a sharp decline in the gas rig count to 181 from 189 previously, while there was a gain of three in the Cana Woodford basin, reversing the decline seen the previous week.

West Texas' Permian Basin and South Texas' Eagle Ford Shale saw the greatest rig decline this past week with two rigs and three rigs coming offline in the plays, respectively. All-told, Texas saw the biggest fall in rig activity with seven rigs removed, while only California and New Mexico saw rig additions.

The data overall continues to suggest that underlying momentum in oil drilling has slowed.