US oil rig count at highest level in 2 years

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The number of active oil rigs in the US hit its highest level since April 2015 after US drillers added rigs for the 13th straight week.

Drillers brought 11 oil rigs back online, oilfield services company Baker Hughes said on Thursday, taking the total number of operational rigs to 683. That is the highest level since the week ended April 24, 2015, when they stood at 703.

US companies resumed operating their rigs after Opec and non-producers like Russia agreed late last year to curb output and help rebalance the oil market. And oil prices have ticked higher in recent weeks on concerns about possible supply disruptions in the Middle East. However, analysts have warned that strong US production in response to a rise in crude prices could offset Opec’s attempt to bolster crude prices.

West Texas Intermediate, the US crude marker, was down 0.2 per cent to $53 a barrel, while Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, slipped 0.4 per cent to $55.65 a barrel.

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