on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil fell by 8 to 496 this week. That followed three consecutive weeks of increases. The total active U.S. rig count, which includes those drilling for natural gas, also declined by 7 to stand at 618, according to Baker Hughes. Oil prices continued to trade lower in Friday dealings, with December West Texas Intermediate crude
down $1.79, or 2.2%, at $80.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.