Oil Explorers Expand US Drilling by Most in Almost Five Years

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U.S. oil explorers increased the number of drilling rigs this week by the most in almost half a decade as domestic crude production roared toward unprecedented highs.

Working rigs drilling for American crude rose by 26, bringing the total to 791, the biggest one-week increase since April 2013, according to Baker Hughes data released Friday. Despite the worst weekly drop in crude prices in almost a year, prices remained close to $60 a barrel, high enough to entice drillers to boost production and use financial instruments to

lock in
future profits.

Worldwide oil demand is “rock solid,” Jeffrey Currie, global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said in a Bloomberg TV

interview
on Friday.

U.S. oil output topped 10 million barrels a day last week for the first time in decades, challenging Saudi Arabia and Russia for dominance in the world crude market. American explorers are expected to break through the

11 million-barrel mark
later this year.

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