The number of U.S. rigs drilling for oil and natural gas rose for a 19th straight week, Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday, and oil prices gained after taking a big dip a day earlier.
This week's seven-rig increase pushed the combined rig count to 908, up from a record low of 404 a year ago. Five of the rigs added this week are drilling for natural gas, the other two for oil.
Oil prices rebounded Friday after Thursday's near-5 percent drop, when investors were disappointed OPEC didn't take more aggressive measures to cut production.
After Friday's modest gain in the tally of oil rigs, U.S. crude rose 90 cents, or 1.8 percent, to close at $49.80 in New York. For the week, prices pared their losses to less than 2 percent after posting gains each of the past two weeks.
Natural gas rose 5 cents to close at $3.24 per 1,000 cubic feet.
The latest tally showed 722 rigs were seeking oil and 185 natural gas. One was listed as miscellaneous.
By major basin, Baker Hughes data showed increases of four rigs in Colorado's DJ-Niobrara basin and three in Oklahoma's Cana Woodford, while the West Texas-New Mexico Permian, South Texas' Eagle Ford and North Dakota's Williston each added one apiece.The Granite Wash, which straddles Texas and Oklahoma, lost one.The East Texas-Louisiana Haynesville and North Texas' Barnett were flat.Reflecting the gains in the DJ basin, Colorado saw a gain of five rigs, while Alaska, New Mexico, North Dakota and Oklahoma each gained one.Texas lost one, to 458.
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