Oil Drillers Shrink U.S. Rig Fleet for First Time Since January

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. oil explorers curtailed activity for the first time since January as escalating output from shale fields stunted a recovery in crude prices.

Explorers idled four working oil rigs this week, bringing the total to 796, according to Baker Hughes data released Friday. The benchmark for U.S. crude has fallen about 9 percent since touching a three-year high in late January as ballooning American oil production cast doubt on the OPEC-led effort to shrink a global glut.

Oil output in the U.S. rose by 86,000 barrels a day last week to a record 10.4 million, according to the Energy Information Administration.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.