HOUSTON, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The active number of drilling rigs in the United States jumped by 13 this week to 1,045 mainly in the West Texas Permian Basin, according to weekly data collected by Baker Hughes, a GE company released on Friday.
The Houston based oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported that the overall drilling rig count jumped by 13 this week, including 10 rigs seeking crude oil. Eight of them were in Texas, including five oil rigs in the Permian.
There are now 844 rigs drilling for oil with more than half of them - 463 - situated in the Permian. There are 199 gas-seeking rigs and two miscellaneous rigs, creating a total rig count of 1,045, the highest count since March 2015.
The U.S. rig count has risen steadily for two years along with increasing oil prices.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) said on Thursday that the prices of crude oil and gasoline will increase this year.
EIA's May Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) forecast that Brent crude oil prices will average 71 U.S. dollars per barrel in 2018, or 7 dollars per barrel higher than last month's STEO. Correspondingly, EIA's forecast for regular gasoline retail prices increased to an average of 2.79 dollars per gallon in 2018, or 0.15 dollar per gallon higher than in last month's STEO.