The number of U.S. oil-drilling rigs, which is viewed as a proxy for activity in the oil industry, has fallen sharply since oil prices started falling last year. After a streak of modest growth, the rig count has now declined for nine consecutive weeks. There are now 64% fewer rigs from a peak of 1,609 in October 2014. According to Baker Hughes, the number of gas rigs rose by four to 197. The U.S. offshore rig count was 33 in the latest week, down two from last week and down 20 from a year ago. For all rigs, including natural gas, the week’s total fell by 12 to 775. Earlier in the week, oil prices had their highest gains in two months. But that rally soon fell away, like many recent price spikes, as robust supply and expectations of weaker demand from China reminded investors of the market’s poor […]

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