• U.S. oil benchmark approaching 2018 high above $66 a barrel

Crude explorers boosted drilling activity in U.S. oil fields to levels not seen in three years amid rising confidence that worldwide demand will keep energy prices elevated.

 

 

U.S. working rigs targeting oil rose by four this week to 804, the highest since late March 2015, according to data from Baker Hughes. West Texas Intermediate crude, the American benchmark, flirted with $66 a barrel this week for the first time since early February amid a confluence of bullish, international supply and demand indicators.

 

 

Oil output in the U.S. rose by 26,000 barrels a day last week to 10.4 million, according to the Energy Information Administration.