US rig numbers are up for the 20th consecutive week, while extraction and support services added 10,000 jobs in May.
US energy firms have added oil rigs for a record 20th week in a row, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday. Drillers added 11 oil rigs in the week to June 2, bringing the total count up to 733, the most since April 2015.
In the same week a year ago, there were only 325 active oil rigs.
Twenty weeks of consecutive rig gains is significantly longer than any previous build. The next-longest period of sustained rig gains was in late 1992, when the rig count increased for 14 weeks, according to Reuters. The current build has also added the most rigs in a single run, with 257 rigs added since the drop in early January. The 14-week build in 1992 saw 248 rigs come online.
Meanwhile, payroll numbers for the US oil patch were a bright spot in a May jobs report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. The ranks of oil-and-gas extraction and support workers rose to just under 391,000 in April, 0.5 percent higher than a year earlier.
The big gains have come on the support side. Roughly 10,000 jobs were added there in just March and April, combined, coinciding with an acceleration in the US rig count and Halliburton's we-can't-keep-up profit warning, Bloomberg reported.
Industry revenues were buoyed by higher average oil and gas prices in April, on the back of OPEC's expected supply cuts (now confirmed) and a lingering winter. Meanwhile, wage inflation, especially for higher-paid extraction workers, slowed.
Despite hiring more workers, the implied wage bill for the oil and gas business remained steady in April at about 12 percent of implied revenue.
Development in the US continues to focus on oil, as 11 oil-targeting rigs came online in the week to June 2 and three gas-targeting rigs were shut down. Oil rigs now account for 80 percent of all active rigs in the US, while only 20 percent of rigs are targeting gas. The all-time high proportion of oil rigs was 83.4 percent in 2014.