Baker Hughes Data Show Decline In U.S. Oil-rig Count For The First Time In 24 Weeks

By Myra P. Saefong Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil declined by two to 756 rigs this week. That marked only the second time the weekly oil-rig count fell this year. Oil-rig numbers had climbed for 23 weeks in a row. The total active U.S. rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, also fell by one to 940, according to Baker Hughes. Oil prices extended their gains following the data, with August West Texas Intermediate crude up 68 cents, or 1.5%, at $45.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange for the session. It was trading at $45.50 before the data.

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