US Drillers Add Oil, Gas Rigs for Record 17th Month in a Row

Even though the rig count has been rising for a record 17 months in a row, analysts noted production was still expected to ease as energy firms continue to focus more on returning money to investors than boosting output.


U.S. energy firms added oil and natural gas rigs for a record 17 months in a row as higher prices lured some drillers back to the wellpad after last year's coronavirus-driven decline in demand.

The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, was unchanged at 586 in the week to Dec. 31, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. said in its closely followed report on Dec. 31.

During December, the total rig count rose by 17. For the quarter, the count was up 65, its fifth increase in a row.

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