Sept 3 (Reuters) - U.S. energy firms this week cut the number of oil and natural gas rigs operating for the first time in five weeks, with the oil rig count alone falling the most since June 2020 after Hurricane Ida hit the United States.
The combined oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, fell by 11 to 497 in the week to Sept. 3, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said in its closely followed report on Friday. RIG-USA-BHIRIG-OL-USA-BHIRIG-GS-USA-BHI
Despite this week’s decline, the total rig count was still up 241 rigs, or 94%, over this time last year.
U.S. oil rigs fell 16 to 394 this week, their biggest decline since June last year, while gas rigs rose five to 102, in their biggest weekly rise since May.
U.S. crude futures fell and were trading around $69.70 a barrel on Friday, after a weaker U.S jobs report clouded the demand outlook, though a brighter global demand view and the aftermath of Ida checked losses.
U.S. Gulf Coast energy companies on Friday advanced the recovery from Ida, but larger hurdles remained for producers and refiners that struggled to get up and running.
Crews have not returned to three-quarters of the evacuated platforms and more than 90% of production remained offline, government data showed. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino in New York and Swati Verma and Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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