The number of active drilling rigs from oil and gas companies outside of North America has not been this low since 2003. Service company Baker Hughes reports this in its monthly overview on Friday. The number was 743 in July.

In the same month a year earlier, that number was still 1,165 copies. Of the 743 active drilling rigs outside North America, 560 were active on land and another 183 at sea. Including the number of drilling rigs in the United States and Canada, the total comes to 1,030 units. A year earlier, 2,238 drilling rigs were still operating worldwide in July.

Oil and gas companies are currently drilling less for raw materials due to declining demand. This has resulted in a surplus, resulting in lower prices. As a result, it is not profitable for many companies to use drilling rigs, which usually have to be rented or leased at high costs.

In the Middle East in particular, many drilling rigs were shut down or dismantled in July, as many of the countries in that region are members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which have agreed a production restriction with Russia and other producers.