U.S. energy firms cut oil rigs for a sixth week in the last seven, data showed on Thursday, a sign drillers were still waiting for higher prices before returning to the well pad.
Drillers removed 2 oil rigs in the week ended Dec. 31, bringing the total rig count down to 536, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report.
That decrease brought the total rig count down to about a third of the roughly 1,500 oil rigs operating a year ago. Since the end of the summer, drillers have cut 136 oil rigs.
Baker Hughes issued the report a day ahead of its usual weekly release, due to Friday's New Year holiday.
(Reporting by Barani Krishnan; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)