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US oil rig count ends 12-week decline

US oil rig count ends 12-week decline
The oil rig count in the U.S. rises for the first time this year, ending 12 weeks of decline

After falling for 12th consecutive weeks, the number of oil rigs in the U.S. has increased for the first time, the oilfield services company Baker Hughes data revealed Friday.

The oil rig count in the country increased by one this week to reach 387 -- its first rise since December last year.

The rise in rig count number is a result of increasing oil prices this week. American oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate and the global benchmark Brent crude both reached their highest levels for this year during this week with $41.20 and $42.53 per barrel, respectively.

However, the latest number of oil rigs in the U.S. is still at its lowest level in more than six years, and around 75 percent less than its highest level in October 2014 when total oil rigs was at 1,609.

The U.S. oil rig count provides an indication about the well-being of the oil sector in the country, and signals possible short-term production cuts and increases.

Due to low oil prices, the U.S. producers are having a difficult time to see a return of their investments. As a result, oil rigs are removed, wells are shut down, while production declines.

Because of plummeting prices, domestic oil production in the country fell around 500,000 barrels a day since April 2015 when output reached its highest level since the 1970s at almost 9.6 million barrels a day.

The U.S. oil production stood just below 9.1 million barrels a day for the week ending March 11, according to the country's Energy Information Administration.

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