The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose nine to 411 in the week to March 19, its highest since April, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said in its closely followed report on Friday.

That puts the rig count, which has climbed over the past seven months, up 68% since falling to a record low of 244 in August 2020, according to Baker Hughes data going back to 1940. The total count, however, is still 361 rigs, or 47%, below this time last year.

U.S. oil rigs rose nine to 318 this week, their highest since May, while gas rigs were unchanged at 92. (by Scott DiSavino, Reuters)

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