The number of oil rigs operating in North America fell this week, the second decline over the past three weeks amid elevated oil prices.

The number of oil rigs fell from 869 to 839 due to a decline in Canadian oil rigs from 207 to 176, according to oil services giant Baker Hughes.


U.S. oil rigs were unchanged at 663 and Gulf of Mexico rigs climbed by one to 12.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude contracts rose nearly 1.4 percent to close on Friday at $104.43. The U.S. average for a gallon of gasoline was $4.274, a penny less than the day before and nearly six cents less than a week ago.

Oil producers say it will take several months to increase production. Many are wary of increasing production too quickly, fearing both a return of the oversupplied conditions that inflicted severe financial losses in the previous decade and Democratic initiatives aimed at curtailing or halting fossil fuel development and destroying demand in the name of fighting climate change.

The Biden administration has been falsely claiming that it has not discouraged oil production in recent days, highlighting Democrat fears that the consequences of their climate change agenda is politically unpopular. In good news for the oil sector, controversial Fed nominee Sarah Bloom Raskin withdrew herself from consideration after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that he could not vote for her due to her advocacy of using the central bank’s regulatory powers to discourage fossil fuel production.

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