Here comes the Baker Hughes rig count ...

Baker Hughes will release its weekly count of US oil and gas rigs at the top of the hour.

Last week, the tally rose for a third straight week, by six to 357. The gas rig count rose by one to 89, taking the total up seven to 447.

This week, the world’s two largest oilfield services companies said they believed the oil market may have bottomed.

Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar said in the company’s earnings statement released on Wednesday that it expects to see a “modest uptick” in the rig count during the second half of the year.

And, Schlumberger on Friday said it believed “the North America market has turned.”

Amid steep cost reductions and higher oil prices versus the start of the year, producers are betting that a rebound is underway.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices are lower on Friday. West Texas Intermediate crude futures are down 1.81% to $43.94 per barrel in New York. Earlier this week, data from the Energy Information Administration showed that inventories are still historically high for this time of the year, despite a ninth straight weekly drop.

More to come …

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