Crude Heads for 2nd Week of Gains as US Oil Rig Count Hits Financial Lows By

© Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan – Crude prices were on track to a second week of double-digit gains on Friday after the  U.S. hit financial crisis lows.

, the benchmark for U.S. crude, was up 50 cents, or 2%, at $24.04 per barrel by 1:42 PM ET (17:42 GMT).

For the week, WTI was up nearly 22%, pushing through with the previous week’s near 17% gain as traders and investors bet on slumping oil production and nascent recovery in demand from a reopening of the U.S. economy from Covid-19 lockdowns.

London-traded , the global benchmark for oil, was up 81 cents, or 2.8%, at $30.27. For the week, Brent was up nearly 15%, after the last week’s gain of more than 23%.

U.S. oil rigs, as measured by oil services firm Baker Hughes, fell by 33 this week to reach 292. The number hadn’t fallen beneath 300 since the 2008/09 financial crisis.

The record low for U.S. oil rigs was 98, seen in November 2002. But a combination of oil and gas rigs, known as the total rig count, hit a record low of 374, after falling by 34 this week, according to Baker Hughes, which has been tracking those numbers since 1940.

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