U.S. energy firms added oil and natural gas rigs for a fifth week in a row, leading to a 10th monthly increase in May, as crude prices head to their highest since 2018.
The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose two to 457 in the week to May 28, its highest since April 2020, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said in its closely followed report on Friday.
The total rig count was up 156 rigs, or 52%, over this time last year. It was also up 87% since falling to a record low of 244 in August 2020, according to Baker Hughes data going back to 1940.
For the month, the total rig count gained 17, putting it up for a 10th month in a row for the first time since July 2017.
U.S. oil rigs rose three to 359 this week, their highest since April 2020, while gas rigs fell one to 98.
The oil rig count gained 17 in May, in its ninth monthly increase in a row for the first time since July 2017.
U.S. crude futures were trading around $67 a barrel on Friday, putting the contract on track for its highest close since October 2018.
Enverus, a provider of energy data with its own closely watched rig count, said the number of active rigs dropped for a second week in a row after losing 21 in the week to May 19 and nine in the week to May 26.
U.S. crude oil output jumped 14.3% to 11.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in March from 9.8 million bpd in February, the government said in its latest monthly report on Friday.