May 13, 2016 - 10:20 PM EDT
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Rig count falls by 9 in U.S., 1 in Oklahoma

May 14--Oil and natural gas drilling activity continued to slow this week even as prices gained ground. The number of rigs drilling for oil and natural gas throughout the country dropped by nine, setting a new 60-year low at 406, according to Baker Hughes.

The rig count has dropped for 21 consecutive weeks and is down 292 since the first of the year, and off 79 percent from 1,929 on Nov. 21, 2014. The number of rigs searching for oil fell by 10 to 318 while one new natural gas rig was added, bumping that count to 87, and one rig was listed as miscellaneous.

In Oklahoma, operators mothballed one rig this week, dropping the count to 56, down 31 since the first of the year and off 74 percent from 214 on Nov. 21, 2014.

Commodity prices climb

Oil prices topped six-month highs Thursday before retreating somewhat Friday, closing at $46.21 a barrel, down 49 cents on the day but up $1.55 over the past week.

Oil prices rose this week in part because of supply disruptions in Nigeria and Canada and stronger-than-expected demand growth in India. A report from the International Energy Agency this week said oil storage levels worldwide will experience a "dramatic reduction" in the second half of the year because of a reduced supply.

Natural gas prices also gained ground early this week before giving back the increase Friday. Natural gas closed at $2.10 per thousand cubic feet, down 6 cents Friday, and flat on the



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Source: News (May 13, 2016 - 10:20 PM EDT)

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