Oil Explorers Expand Drilling in U.S. Fields Amid $66 Crude

(Bloomberg) -- Crude explorers deployed more drilling rigs across the U.S. this week as oil hovered around $66 a barrel.

U.S. working oil rigs rose by one this week to 863, the highest since March 2015, according to data from Baker Hughes. The American rig fleet has expanded on an almost-uninterrupted streak since October.

American oil companies have been pushing output to new records week after week, even as the 24-nation coalition of major crude producers prepares to discuss relaxing self-imposed production controls. West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark U.S. crude, averaged about $66 a barrel this week and is more than 40 percent higher than a year ago.

Crude output in the U.S. rose by 100,000 barrels a day last week to a record 10.9 million, according to the Energy Information Administration.

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