US Drillers Add Rigs

US Drillers Add RigsUS Drillers Add Rigs

US oil drillers this week added rigs for a fifth consecutive week, Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday, but the oilfield services provider and some analysts cast doubts on a substantial recovery in drilling this year with crude prices heading for their biggest monthly loss in a year. Drillers added three oil rigs in the week to July 29, bringing the total rig count up to 374, compared with 664 a year ago, according to the closely followed Baker Hughes weekly report. US crude futures have slipped below $41 a barrel for the first time since April, pressured by persistently high inventories, Reuters reported. The market was on track for a monthly loss of about 15%, and is down about 20% from highs over $50 in early June when drillers started returning to the well pad. The total oil and gas rig count bottomed at 404 in mid May, the lowest level since at least 1940, and increased by one to 463 in the week ended July 29, according to Baker Hughes data. In 2015, the total rig count averaged 978.