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Number of active U.S. oil rigs increased

Staff Writer |
U.S. energy companies this week added oil rigs, with the monthly rig count rising for the first time since July as crude prices traded near their highest levels since the summer of 2015.

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Drillers added nine oil rigs in the week to Nov. 22, bringing the total count up to 747, General Electric's Baker Hughes reported.

For the month, the number of active rigs increased by 10, after three months of declines.

The rig count, an early indicator of future output, is still much higher than a year ago when only 474 rigs were active after energy companies boosted spending plans for 2017 as crude started recovering from a two-year price crash.

The increase in drilling lasted 14 months before stalling in August, September and October after some producers started trimming their 2017 spending plans when prices turned softer over the summer.

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