US oil rig count falls for the first time in 4 months

The US oil rig count fell by two to 441 this week, according to oilfield services giant Baker Hughes. It was the first drop since the week of June 24.

Miscellaneous rigs were unchanged at two, while the gas rig count rose six to 114, taking the total up four to 557.

The tally of oil rigs rose in recent weeks, with oil prices near $50 per barrel and demand for drilling equipment on the rise.

Last week, the oil rig count rose by 11.

Although the oil rig count has been rising, US production is still down year-on-year, reflecting some continued caution and weakness among the largest producers.

Crude oil prices on Friday were headed for a weekly loss ahead of OPEC’s meeting to discuss production levels.

This chart shows the most recent count of oil rigs:

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