The total number of rigs actively exploring for or producing oil or natural gas worldwide declined 12 percent from February levels, Baker Hughes said Thursday. Rig counts serve as a barometer for the health of the oil and gas sector, which has struggled as companies spend less on exploration and production because of lower crude oil prices. Baker Hughes said in its March productivity report the total number of rigs deployed worldwide declined 210 from February to 1551. Year-on-year, the March worldwide rig count was lower by 40 percent. The rig numbers reported by Baker Hughes reflect a general trend in crude oil prices, which started February at around $32 per barrel for Brent. In the United States, which is expecting a slowdown in […]