Here comes the Baker Hughes rig count ...

Oil driller Baker Hughes is set to release its latest count of US oil and gas rigs at the top of the hour.

We saw a renewed drop in the oil rig count last week, which fell by 26 to 614, the biggest decline since the rig count topped a year ago.

That put the number of active rigs at the lowest level since the week of August 6, 2010.

Earlier this week, Baker Hughes reported that the average US rig count for September was 848, down 35 from the prior month.

Crude oil is headed for its best week since 2009. On Thursday, West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose above $US50 per barrel for the first time since July.

Ahead of the rig count data release on Friday, WTI futures in New York were up by less than 1%, near $US49.84 per barrel.

We’ll be back with the latest once the data cross. Here’s the most recent oil rig count chart:

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