US Drillers Add Rigs Despite Sharp Decline In Oil Prices

U.S. energy firms added oil rigs for the first time in the past three weeks despite sharp declines in crude futures prices to their lowest since the summer of 2017.

Drillers added 10 oil rigs in the week to Dec. 21, bringing the total count to 883, Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHGE), General Electric Co.’s (NYSE: GE) energy services firm, said in its closely followed report on Dec. 21. This was the biggest weekly gain in rig numbers since early November.

More than half the total U.S. oil rigs are in the Permian Basin, the country’s biggest shale oil formation. Active units there held steady this week at 486, the lowest since early October.