HOUSTON, July 7 (Xinhua) -- The number of active drilling rigs in the United States increased by five this week to 1,052, or 100 more than that this time last year, weekly data collected by Baker Hughes released on Friday showed.
The Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported that the five added rigs were all in oil drilling, bringing the count of oil drilling rigs to stand at 863. More than half of them are situated in the Permian Basin region of West Texas and New Mexico. There are exactly 187 gas-seeking rigs and two miscellaneous rigs.
Baker Hughes reported a fall of five active rigs in the previous week.
Canada, for its part, gained 10 oil rigs for the week-after last week's gain of 12 oil and gas rigs. After multiple weeks of significant gains, Canada's oil and gas rig count is now up 7 year over year.
Oil benchmarks went in different directions again Friday afternoon. The West Texas Intermediate for August delivery rose 0.86 U.S. dollar to settle at 73.80 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for September delivery fell 0.28 dollar to close at 77.11 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
Earlier on Friday, oil prices dropped as fears of the escalating U.S.-Chinese trade tension and increased production by Saudi Arabia and Russia outweighed concerns over supply disruptions from Venezuela to Libya to looming sanctions on Iran.
According to the Weekly Petroleum Status Report by U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 1.2 million barrels during the week ending June 29.
At 417.9 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories were about 2 percent below the five year average for this time of year.
In the previous week ending on June 22, EIA reported a draw of 9.9 million barrels. For the same week, The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a draw of 4.5 million barrels.
U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged about 17.7 million barrels per day during the week ending June 29, which was 163,000 barrels per day less than the previous week's average.
Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 1.5 million barrels last week and were about 6 percent above the five year range. Finished gasoline and blending components inventories both decreased last week.
Distillate fuel inventories increased by 0.1 million barrels last week and were about 13 percent below the five-year average for this time of year.
Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 20.9 million barrels per day, up by 1.4 percent from the same period last year.
Over the past four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged 9.7 million barrels per day, up by 1.2 percent from the same period last year.
Distillate fuel product supplied averaged 4.0 million barrels per day over the past four weeks, down by 3.5 percent from the same period last year. Jet fuel product supplied was down 5.3 percent compared with the same four-week period last year.
U.S. crude oil imports averaged 9.1 million barrels per day last week, up by 699,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the past four weeks, crude oil imports averaged about 8.4 million barrels per day, 6.6 percent more than the same four-week period last year.
Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 648,000 barrels per day, and distillate fuel imports averaged 92,000 barrels per day.