USA oil driller Baker Hughes reported that the number of active oil rigs rose for a fifth week in a row, rising by 6 to 597 for the week ending February 17.
The total rig count rose to 751, up from a low of 404 in May, and up 237 rigs year over year. Both benchmarks were trading down earlier on Friday under heavy pressure from record-high crude oil inventories (518.1 million barrels), and record-high gasoline inventories (259 million barrels).
All told, the oil rig count grew by five to 597, while the gas rig count came up four to 153. Oil watchers continue to wait and see whether USA production hampers efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-members to reduce their output.
A year ago, 514 rigs were active.
Texas added 16 rigs - but the story, this week, wasn't the Permian Basin, which has dominated the industry's rebound so far. Cana Woodford lost two rigs, and the Williston basin lost 1.
Earlier in the week, the Energy Information Administration said USA crude oil and gasoline inventories soared to record highs.
While things are looking up for U.S. drillers, Canada lost 13 oil and 8 gas rigs this week, although both counts are up year on year.