U.S. Oil-Rig Count Down by 5 in Latest Week

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. declined by five this week to 747, breaking a streak of increases, according to Baker Hughes, a GE company.

The weekly rig count has become a key barometer for the health of the domestic drilling industry and, by proxy, the wider oil and gas industry.

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The U.S. oil-rig count peaked at 1,609 in October 2014 but plunged to 316 in May 2016 as a drop in oil prices put downward pressure on production. Since that time, the count had generally been rising before leveling off last August.

Meanwhile, the U.S. gas-rig count rose by two to 189 in the past week, according to the oil-field services company.

The U.S. offshore-rig count was unchanged at 19, down five rigs from a year earlier.

U.S. crude production is expected to climb above 10 million barrels a day in 2018, a high not seen since 1970, and surpass output in Saudi Arabia and rival that of Russia, the world's two largest oil producers, the International Energy Agency said Friday in its closely watched monthly oil market report.

The IEA raised its outlook for U.S. crude supply this year by 260,000 barrels a day, to a record 10.4 million barrels a day.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil prices were down 0.6% at $63.35 a barrel in afternoon trading on Friday. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 0.7% at $68.65.

--Christopher Alessi contributed to this article

Write to Maria Armental at maria.armental@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 19, 2018 13:47 ET (18:47 GMT)

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