Oil prices had a small rally in the afternoon after data showed further cuts to the number of rigs working U.S. oil fields. The U.S. oil-rig count dropped by 16 to 578 in the latest week , the ninth consecutive week of declines, according to Baker Hughes Inc. BHI 0.17 % There are now 64% fewer rigs from a peak of 1,609 in October 2014, which some expect to lead to lower production, though it has yet to make a major impact. December crude oil settled up 53 cents, or 1.2%, to $46.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, gained 76 cents, or 1.6%, to $49.56 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. “I don’t think these prices on oil or natural-gas are sufficient to meet long-term demand,” said Kyle Cooper, managing director of research at IAF Advisors, a Houston consulting firm. Oil has […]