Permian Basin gains 18 drilling rigs as oil prices rise

The rig count in the Permian Basin soared by 18 in the week ending Friday, the latest count by Baker Hughes shows, with 427 rigs active in the region.

Nationally, the oil and gas rig count increased by 11 to a total of 947 rigs. A year ago, 712 rigs were active. The count shows that 759 rigs sought oil, an increase of 12 from the previous week, and 188 explored for natural gas, a decrease of one from the previous week. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May of 2016 at 404.

The regional benchmark Plains-West Texas Intermediate Posting ended Friday at $62.75 per barrel, up $3 from last week. National benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude ended at $66.41 per barrel, up $2.44 from last week.

ON THE NET: Baker Hughes rig count.