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U.S. drillers add oil rigs for third consecutive week

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Staff Writer | April 20, 2018
oil rigs
Oil exploration   More than half the total oil rigs are in the Permian basin

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for a third week in a row as energy firms follow through on plans to spend more on drilling this year with crude prices near three-year highs.

Drillers added five oil rigs in the week to April 20, bringing the total count to 820, the highest level since March 2015, General Electric's Baker Hughes energy services firm said.

More than half the total oil rigs are in the Permian basin in west Texas and eastern New Mexico. Active units there increased by eight this week to 453, the most since January 2015.

The U.S. government expects oil output in the Permian to rise to a record high near 3.2 million barrels per day in May, about 30 percent of total U.S. oil production.

The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is much higher than a year ago when 688 rigs were active. Energy companies have been steadily increasing spending since mid-2016 when crude prices began recovering from a two-year crash.


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