s rig10 November 2018, News Wires — U.S. energy firms added oil rigs for a fourth time in the last five, keeping the rig count at its highest in over three years even though crude futures were on track to fall for a fifth week in a row to their lowest level since February.
Drillers added 12 oil rigs in the week to Nov. 9, bringing the total count to 886, the highest level since March 2015, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.
That was the biggest weekly increase since late May when drillers added 15 rigs.
The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is higher than a year ago when 738 rigs were active because energy companies have ramped up production to capture prices that are higher in 2018 than 2017.
More than half the total U.S. oil rigs are in the Permian Basin, the country’s biggest shale oil formation. Active units there increased by five this week to 492, the most since January 2015.
On Friday, U.S. crude futures were trading around $60 per barrel, their lowest in over eight months, as global supply increased and investors worried about the impact on fuel demand of lower economic growth and trade disputes. [O/R]
Looking ahead, crude futures for calendar 2019 CLYstc1 and calendar 2020 CLYstc1 were both trading around $61 a barrel.
U.S. financial services firm Cowen & C