Drillers shutting down rigs as oil prices fall below $60 a barrel

Facing oil prices that have fallen below $60 a barrel amid escalating competition from suppliers abroad, U.S. oil drillers have idled the largest number of rigs in almost two years, reports the News-Journal in Longview, Texas. Citing a report from Baker Hughes Inc., the newspaper says the number of rigs targeting oil fell by 29 in mid-December for the biggest weekly decline since December 2012. The drop in rig count comes at a time when plunging global oil prices are threatening to slow the U.S. shale-drilling boom.