U.S. energy firms this week added oil and natural gas rigs for a fifth week in a row as oil prices soared to their highest since 2014 prompting some drillers to return to the wellpad.
The combined oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose five to 533 in the week to Oct. 8, its highest since April 2020, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said in its closely followed report on Friday.
The total rig count was up 264 rigs, or 98%, over this time last year.
U.S. oil rigs rose five to 433 this week, also their since April 2020, while gas rigs were steady at 99 for a third week in a row.
U.S. crude futures rose to their highest since 2014 in intraday trade this week and were currently trading above $79 a barrel on Friday, buoyed by a global energy crunch that has helped natural gas prices to record highs and prompted China to demand increased coal production.
Amazingly those higher natural gas prices have not yet prompted drillers to start looking for more gas. U.S. gas prices rose to their highest since 2008 earlier this week, up over 120% so far this year, but the gas rig count was still lower than it was in July.
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