The count of active oil rigs in the US rose by seven to 425 this week, according to oilfield-services giant Baker Hughes.
The gas rig count increased by four to 96. With the count of miscellaneous rigs unchanged at one, the total rig count rose 11 to 522.
The oil-rig count has not fallen during the last 14 weeks, the longest streak since before oil prices started slumping in 2014. The tally is now at the highest level since the week of February 12.
After the oil crash started, drillers were forced to cut costs in various ways, including reducing the number of active rigs. The rig count became one way to gauge how oilfields service providers were responding to changes in oil prices, and how confident they felt about market conditions.
News about crude oil this week was dominated by OPEC’s informal meeting in Algiers, which ended with a tentative agreement to cut oil production to between 32.5 million barrels and 33 million barrels per day. The group pumped 33.2 million barrels in August.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures in New York, the US benchmark for prices, was up 0.6% to $48.11 per barrel ahead of the rig-count data, and little changed after. Futures have gained nearly 5% this week, as investors saw the OPEC deal as a promising step in solving the market’s oversupply problem.
Here’s the latest chart of the rig count:
- Andy Kiersz/Business Insider