US oil-rig count jumps for record 21st week in a row

The US oil-rig count rose for a 21st straight period this week, the longest streak in at least three decades underscoring that robust shale production continues to global oil supplies higher than demand.

The oil-rig count rose by eight to 741, the highest level since April 10, 2015, data from Baker Hughes showed. The number of gas rigs rose by three to 185. With miscellaneous rigs unchanged at one, the total rig count rose by 11 to 927.

West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark of oil prices, was little changed on Friday following a drop below $US46 per barrel earlier in the week. Oil plunged 5% on Wednesday after the Energy Information Administration reported an unexpected build in inventories.

Last week, OPEC countries said they would extend their deal to cut production through 2018, although analysts had largely expected that decision. Oil also moved after Gulf States cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in part because of differing opinions on the future of the region and “gross violations” committed by Qatari officials.

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