Falling Rig Counts Help Boost Crude-oil Prices

By Mark DeCambreMarketWatch Pulse

Crude-oil futures extended their gains on Friday after weekly data from Baker Hughes showed that the number of oil-drilling rigs in the U.S. fell by 10 to 564 as of Friday. The total number of rigs, including those drilling for natural gas, fell to 757 for the week. Natural-gas drilling rigs remained unchanged at 193, according to Baker Hughes . Compared with last year, total rigs are down to 1,172 from 1,929, Baker Hughes data show. Signs of falling rig counts suggest that a glut of oil, which has been hammering crude-oil prices over the past year, might abate. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for December delivery gained 7 cents, or 0.2%, to trade at $40.64 a barrel. The December contract expires Friday. The most-active January contract for WTI gained 85 cents, or 1.9%, to trade at $42.53/bbl.

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