15:07 GMT29 October 2020
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    The US oil rig count edged up by two this week to 674, marking the fifth consecutive week of growth, the US-based oil service company Baker Hughes reported on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Oil rig counts are used as a leading demand indicator for products consumed in the drilling, production and processing of hydrocarbons, according to Baker Hughes.

    Since bottoming out at 628 in late June, the oil rig count has registered seven weeks of growth and one week of decline.

    The late-June bottom followed 25 consecutive weeks of decline from the October 2014 high of 1609 oil rigs.

    The US oil rig count plummeted as oil prices remained low and companies refrained from investing in new wells while attempting to get the most out of existing wells.

    A rally in prices since March fizzled by late June, when oil hovered around $60 a barrel, as oil inventories remain high and demand struggles to pick up the slack.

    On Friday, the price of benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil hit a 6.5 year low at around $40 a barrel.

    Baker Hughes has been tracking rotary rig counts since 1944 as a service to the petroleum industry.

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