Here comes the Baker Hughes rig count ...

Oil giant Baker Hughes will release its weekly count of active US oil and gas rigs just after 1 p.m. ET.

Last week, the number of active oil rigs increased by two to 418, and the gas-rig count rose by three to 92, taking the total to 511. The oil-rig count has not fallen during the last 13 weeks, the longest streak since before oil prices started slumping in 2014.

After the oil crash started, drillers were forced to cut costs in various ways, including reducing the number of active rigs. The rig count became one way to gauge how oilfields service providers were responding to changes in oil prices, and how confident they felt about market conditions.

News about crude oil this week was dominated by OPEC’s informal meeting in Algiers, which ended with a tentative agreement to cut oil production to between 32.5 million barrels and 33 million barrels per day. The group pumped 33.2 million barrels in August.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures in New York, the US benchmark for prices, was up 0.6% to $48.11 per barrel ahead of the rig-count data. Futures have gained nearly 5% this week, as investors saw the OPEC deal as a promising step in solving the market’s oversupply problem.

More to come …

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