The increase in the number of active oil and gas drilling rigs in the US this week was the strongest in more than four years. At the same time, the total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs increased for the first time in five weeks, Report informs referring to Baker Hughes, an oil service company.

The cumulative number of active oil and gas drilling rigs, a leading indicator of production, increased by 8 units in the week of March 11-17, to 754.

The total number of operating units is 91, or 13.7%, higher than a year ago.

US oil rigs in operation fell 1 to 589, while gas rigs in operation rose 9 to 162, according to Baker Hughes.

The recent decline in energy prices has caused several oil and gas companies to reduce the number of drilling rigs for three straight months from December to February, traders said.

At the same time, US oil production in 2023 may increase to 12.4 million barrels per day from 11.9 million barrels per day in 2022, and reach 12.6 million barrels per day in 2024. This is evidenced by the forecasts presented in March by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy. However, EIA estimates were downgraded in March from February forecasts.