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U.S. companies added oil rigs for seventh week in a row

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Staff Writer | December 16, 2016
Oil rigs count
Oil exploration   Drillers have added oil rigs in 26 of the past 29 weeks

U.S. energy companies this week added oil rigs for a seventh week in a row, extending a seven-month drilling recovery as crude prices held near a 17-month high.

Drillers added 12 oil rigs in the week to December 16, bringing the total count to 510, the highest since January, but still below 541 rigs a year ago, energy services firm Baker Hughes said.

Since crude prices briefly recovered from 13-year lows to around $50 a barrel in May, drillers have added oil rigs in 26 of the past 29 weeks for a total of 194, the biggest recovery in rigs since a global oil glut crushed the market over two years.

Almost two-thirds of the rigs added since May, or 121, were in the Permian basin, the nation's biggest shale oil formation located in west Texas and eastern New Mexico, bringing the total there up to 258, the most since April 2015.

The Baker Hughes oil rig count plunged from a record 1,609 in October 2014 to a six-year low of 316 in May as U.S. crude prices collapsed from over $107 a barrel in June 2014 to near $26 in February 2016.


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