Rig count up 21, 9th straight rise

The number of oil and gas rigs in U.S. fields rose for the ninth straight week as oil companies continue to show optimism in the industry.

This week’s U.S. count jumped by 21, a boom of 385 rigs since the count fell to its recent low last spring. Oil drillers collectively sent 14 more rigs into the patch this week, the Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday. Gas rigs rose by six.

Texas added four — but the story again wasn’t the Permian Basin, which has dominated the industry’s rebound so far. Instead, drillers added 10 rigs in Oklahoma.

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The total rig count rose to 789, up from a low of 404 in May, and up 313 year over year.

The number of active oil rigs jumped to 631 this week. Gas rigs rose to 157. The number of offshore rigs dropped by one to 19, down eight rigs year over year.

Outside of Oklahoma and Texas, North Dakota added five rigs, Colorado and Utah two, Alaska one. Wyoming lost two; Louisiana and New Mexico one each.

Drilling activity has continued to rise despite a recent dip in oil prices.

U.S. crude settled on Thursday at $48.75, down 11 cents or less than a half of a percent on the day, but were ticking upward by midday Friday.