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By Ali Stratton

The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. rose by two in the past week to 766, according to oil-field services company Baker Hughes, now a unit of General Electric Co. The U.S. oil-rig count is typically viewed as a proxy for activity in the sector. After peaking at 1,609 in October 2014, low oil prices put downward pressure on production and the rig count receded. However, the oil-rig count has generally been rising since the summer of 2016. The nation’s gas-rig count rose by six to 192 in the past week, according to Baker Hughes. The U.S. offshore-rig count rose by one to 24. West Texas Intermediate futures rose 1.2% to $49.63 a barrel in recent trading.

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10:38 ET – Refining has continued to be a silver lining for big oil companies as crude prices remain stuck at about $50 a barrel. Exxon Mobil (XOM) reported 2Q refining profits of $1.4B, an increase of about a third over the April-to-June period last year. Chevron (CVX) saw slightly lower refining profits compared to last year, with about $1.2B, with the biggest decrease coming in international operations (bradley.olson@wsj.com; @bradnews).

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

 

July 28, 2017 10:38 ET (14:38 GMT)

 

Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

 

20170728_DN_9136

 

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By Ali Stratton The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. fell by one in the past week to 764, according to oil-field services company Baker Hughes Inc. The U.S. oil-rig count is typically viewed as a proxy for activity in the sector. After peaking at 1,609 in October 2014, low oil prices put downward pressure on production and the rig count receded. However, the oil-rig count has generally been rising since the summer of 2016. The nation’s gas-rig count also fell by one to 186 in the past week, according to Baker Hughes. The U.S. offshore-rig count rose by two to 23. West Texas Intermediate futures fell 2.3% to $45.84 a barrel in recent trading.

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