Snapping three-day losing streak, Crude oil futures ended higher on Thursday after a data showed that the number of US oil rigs declined surprisingly. According to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes, the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell by six to 798 in the week to March 29,easing from three-year highs. It was the first time in three weeks that the US energy companies cut oil rigs count. However, Geopolitical concerns and indications from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that members are considering action that could trigger higher prices limited moves for oil, as the holiday-shortened week of trading draws to a close for Passover and Easter over the weekend. Benchmark crude oil futures for May delivery surged 56 cents or 0.9 percent at $64.94 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude rose 74 cents or 1.1 percent to settle at $70.27 a barrel on London’s Intercontinental Exchange.
U.S. natural gas production in the lower 48 states dipped by 1.4 percent to 86 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in January, though that still represented a 9.9 percent increase from a year ago, according to EIA’s monthly production report. Production fell by 2.8 percent in Texas, the top natural gas producer, to 22 bcfd, and was also lower in Pennsylvania and Louisiana.
Production in Oklahoma rose to 7.51 bcfd, a new record for that state, the third biggest producer in the lower 48.