The Baker Hughes oil rig count is getting more attention these days.
Every week, the oilfield services company releases its count of the number of active rigs across all of the U.S. oil industry. It's an important barometer of how much drilling is going on, and markets watch it to see if there are any big changes or trends. The newest number, released Friday afternoon, showed the number of active U.S. oil rigs down by 10 to 1,536.
With oil prices dropping dramatically since summer, the number has taken on heightened importance as traders watch to see whether the industry is cutting production in the face of lower revenue.
If the past says anything, the industry has been slow to react to price drops. The chart below looks at the past 20 years of oil prices and rig counts. Oil prices always lead, while rig counts lag behind.