U.S. energy firms this week added oil and natural gas rigs for a second week in a row for the first time since March, keeping the count steady in April, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. said in its closely followed report on April 28.

The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose two to 755 in the week to April 28. 

Baker Hughes said that puts the total rig count up 57, or 8%, over this time last year.

Oil rigs were unchanged this week at 591, but inched down by one in April in their fifth monthly decline.

Gas rigs rose by two to 161 this week, while edging up one in April in their second monthly rise.

U.S. crude production fell in February to 12.5 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d), its lowest since December, while implied fuel demand rose to nearly 20 MMbbl/d, its highest since November, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

U.S. oil futures were down about 5% so far this year after gaining about 7% in 2022. U.S. gas futures, meanwhile, have plunged about 47% so far this year after rising about 20% last year.

Meanwhile, the No. 2 U.S. producer Chevron Corp. on April 28 posted profits for the first quarter despite lower energy prices and oil and gas production.

The top U.S. producer Exxon Mobil Corp. made a record first-quarter profit by pumping more oil and gas.