U.S. drillers add oil rigs for sec­ond week in a row: Baker Hughes

Business a.m. - - ENERGY, POWER & RENEWABLES -

U.S. EN­ERGY FIRMS added oil rigs for a sec­ond week in a row even as oil prices fell to 1-1/2-year lows and headed for losses of more than 20 per­cent this year.

Drillers added 2 oil rigs in the week to Dec. 28, bring­ing the to­tal count to 885, Gen­eral Elec­tric Co’s Baker Hughes en­ergy ser­vices firm said in its closely fol­lowed re­port on Fri­day.

For the month the rig count fell by 2, its first de­cline in six months. But for the quar­ter, the count was up 22, the fourth in­crease in a row.

For the year the count was up 138. That com­pares with an in­crease of 222 rigs in 2017 and a de­cline of 11 rigs in 2016.

The U.S. rig count, an early in­di­ca­tor of fu­ture out­put, is higher than a year ago when 747 rigs were ac­tive after en­ergy com­pa­nies spent more to cap­ture higher prices.

U.S. West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate (WTI) crude CLc1 fu­tures were last up 15 cents to $44.76 a bar­rel, after reach­ing $46.22 a bar­rel ear­lier, though the U.S. bench­mark was headed for a third straight week of losses. [O/R].

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