Here comes the Baker Hughes rig count ...

At around 1:00 p.m. ET, we’ll get the latest count of US oil and gas rigs from oil driller Baker Hughes.

Last week, Baker Hughes reported that the number of active oil rigs fell by 24 to 679, the lowest since September 2010.

It was the 21st straight week that the rig count tumbled, although it was a slowdown from the previous week, when 31 oil rigs went offline.

The number of combined oil and gas rigs fell by 22 to 905 last week, the lowest level since June 2009.

On Wednesday, separate data from the Energy Information Administration showed that commercial crude inventories fell more than expected last week. Although inventories are still at an 80-year high, the data showed that the build of crude in storage is slowing down.

We’re also now about two months from when the rig count will bottom, according to Morgan Stanley’s forecast which is based on a study of past periods when rig tallies tumbled.

Ahead of the release, West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up about 1%, at around $US59.64 per barrel. It’s back below $US60, a level it crossed on Tuesday for the first time since December.

We’ll be back with the numbers once they cross…

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