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U.S. oil rig count down for second week in row

Staff Writer |
U.S. companies cut oil rigs for a second week in a row ahead of Hurricane Harvey and as a more than year-long recovery in drilling slows down in reaction to soft crude prices.

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Drillers cut four oil rigs in the week to August 25, bringing the total count down to 759, General Electric's Baker Hughes energy services firm said.

That compares with 406 active oil rigs during the same week a year ago. Drillers have added rigs in 56 of the past 65 weeks since the start of June 2016.

The rig count is an early indicator of future output.

Refineries, terminals, production platforms and other infrastructure have begun shutdown procedures with Hurricane Harvey set to make landfall on the central Texas coast on Friday night or early on Saturday as a Category 3 hurricane, potentially the biggest storm to hit the mainland United States in 12 years.

Harvey could also bring flooding to inland shale oil fields in southern Texas that produce more than 1 million barrels of oil per day.

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