The Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported that there are now 862 rigs drilling for oil in the United States with more than half of them - 477 - situated in the western Texas Permian Basin. There are 198 gas-seeking rigs and two miscellaneous rigs, creating a total rig count of 1,062, the highest count since March 2015.
Oil prices ended lower on Friday amid rising U.S. rig count. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for July delivery was down 21 U.S. cents to settle at 65.74 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for August delivery decreased 86 cents to close at 76.46 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
Surging U.S. output has been weighing on the market recently. According to latest data from the Energy Information Agency (EIA), U.S. crude output last week hit a record high of 10.8 million barrels per day, a 28-percent gain in two years, putting the United States close to becoming the world's biggest crude producer.