HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US saw an increase in the number of oil and gas drilling rigs in operation this week, rising for the ninth week in a row, despite rising concerns about how an outbreak of the coronavirus in China will impact crude oil demand.
A total of 378 rigs were in operation, five more than last week, according to drilling services provider Baker Hughes.
There were 289 oil rigs in operation, up by two from the previous week. Gas rigs were up once again, gaining three to bring the total to 88 rigs.
US refinery rates in the week ended 15 January rose by 0.5 percentage points to 82.5%, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Friday.
Current refinery rates match the highest levels since the onset of the coronavirus crisis in the US as expectations mount of a recovery in demand in the coming months.
Consumption of refined products tend to increase during the summer months, due to increased land and air travel. However, the uptick is expected to be especially large this summer due to pent-up demand resulting from coronavirus movement restrictions and optimism encouraged by vaccine rollouts.