The overall count of 876 is still down 55 percent from 1,929 on Nov. 1, 2014. The U.S. count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
In Oklahoma, the rig count edged up 2 to 107, half of the recent high of 214 on Nov. 26, 2014.
The nationwide rig count grew this week despite renewed concerns over oil prices, which has given back more than 20 percent over the past month, briefly slipping below $48 a barrel Friday morning before settling at $48.13, down 31 cents on the day.
After tumbling below $43 in March, the price recovered to more than $60 in June before sliding back down in recent weeks. The most recent downturn has been fueled largely by concerns of slowing economies in Europe and China and on improving relations with Iran, which could lead to more than 1 million barrels per day of Iranian oil entering the global market.
Despite slashing the country’s rig count in half, domestic energy companies have continued to produce strong levels of oil and natural gas.
Domestic production was almost 9.56 million barrels per day last week, down about 4,000 barrels per day from the previous week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Oil imports averaged more than 7.9 million barrels per day last week, up 587,000 barrels a day from the previous week.
Strong production and imports led to another big increase in the country’s storage levels. Storage levels increased another 2.5 million barrels to 463.9 million, the highest level for this time of year in at least 80 years, the EIA said in its weekly petroleum status report.
In Cushing, the country’s largest commercial storage hub, inventories added another 1.7 million barrels over the past four weeks.
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