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U.S. drillers add oil rigs for first week in three

U.S. energy firms added oil rigs for the first time in the past three weeks despite sharp declines in crude futures to their lowest since the summer of 2017.Drillers added 10 oil rigs in the week to Dec. 21, bringing the total count to 883, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. . This was the biggest gain in rig numbers since early November.

The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is higher than a year ago when 747 rigs were active as energy companies have spent more to capture higher prices.

U.S. crude futures were trading around $46 a barrel on Friday, down about 10 percent for the week, as global oversupply kept buyers away from the market ahead of the end of year holidays. Earlier Friday, the contract fell to its lowest since July 2017.

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