Oil-rig count rises for 18th straight week

The US oil-rig count rose by eight to 720 this week, according to oilfield services giant Baker Hughes.

This extended the longest streak of rig additions since 2011, one week out to a crucial OPEC meeting that could impact global production levels.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other key producers will meet next week Friday to decide whether to extend the agreement reached last November to lower output.

After the data release on Friday, the June contract for West Texas Intermediate crude was trading up 1.86% at $US50.30 per barrel, its highest level in about one month.

According to Baker Hughes, the gas-rig count rose by eight to 180. Miscellaneous rigs were unchanged at one, taking the total up 16 to 901 rigs.

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