Here comes the Baker Hughes rig count ...

Baker Hughes will release its weekly tally of US oil and gas rigs just after 1 p.m. ET.

The oil-rig count rose by five to 688 last week, marking the 14th week in a row with an increase, and taking the tally to the highest level in nearly two years.

Gas rigs rose by five to 167 and miscellaneous rigs remained unchanged at two, leaving the total rotary rig count at 857.

Ahead of the rig-count release, West Texas intermediate crude oil futures were little changed, up by 0.5% at $US49.20 per barrel. WTI headed for a 0.8% weekly drop as concerns persisted over the level of global inventories. Data released on Wednesday from the Energy Information Administration showed that gasoline stockpiles jumped last week even as crude inventories fell more than expected.

More to come …

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