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Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday, lifting the most active crude futures contracts for a fourth straight week, amid optimism about energy demand in the U.S. thanks to reopening of businesses after Covid-19 lockdowns.

However, oil’s upside was limited due to concerns about outlook for energy demand in Europe following reports showing coronavirus cases rose to four-month highs.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended up by $0.60 or about 0.8% at $71.64 a barrel. WTI Crude oil futures gained about 1% in the week.

According to a report from Baker Hughes, U.S. energy firms added oil and natural gas rigs for a second week in a row, with surging oil prices prompting some drillers to return to the wellpad.

The report showed oil and gas rig count rose by nine to 470 this week, the highest since April 2020. The total rig count rose by 204, up 77% over this time last year. It was also up 93% since falling to a record low of 244 in August 2020, according to Baker Hughes data going back to 1940.

U.S. oil rigs rose eight to 373 this week, their highest since April 2020, while gas rigs rose one to 97, their first increase in six weeks, according to Baker Hughes.


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