Rig Decline Becoming Widespread: Morgan Stanley

Oil and gas exploration and production companies are cutting "into the 'bone,'" sidelining more rigs in more locations as they try to cut expenses amid the plunge in oil prices, analysts at Morgan Stanley said in a note Monday. Since the start of February, cuts in the number of rigs operating "have become indiscriminate" rather than focused on the more marginal oil and gas areas, and companies are also delaying maintenance and repair work, they said. That raises the probability of a faster-than-expected slowdown in U.S. oil production, which could help oil prices recover, the analysts said. Oil futures fell on Monday.

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