NEW YORK, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices continued a strong forward push Wednesday amid gathering signs the weak market is hurting the trajectory in U.S. shale oil basins.
Brent crude oil continued from Tuesday's dramatic rally to start trading at $52.57, up about 1.3 percent from the previous close. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark price for crude oil, gained about the same to start trading in New York at $49.15.
The price for WTI is up more than 6 percent since Monday. Low U.S. rig counts for the week ending Oct. 2 and Russian military intervention in Syria added positive pressure to crude oil prices at the start of the week.
Low crude oil prices means less spending on exploration and production, a trend reflected in low rig counts. Weak oil, meanwhile, is hurting exporting countries like Russia, a situation the White House hinted may have led the Kremlin to take military action in Syria.
Oil field services company Baker Hughes said in a report on September total rig deployments the count in the United States was 848, down 35 from the previous month and 1,082 lower year-on-year. Total rig counts are trending near five-year lows.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its short-term market report total U.S. crude oil production is expected to decline by more than 3 percent from 2015 to 8.9 million barrels per day.
EIA said in its report declines were already reported in the United States because of "unattractive economic returns."
Despite the recent surge, EIA said its 2015 forecast for a Brent average price of $54 per barrel is unchanged from previous estimates. WTI should average about $4 lower than Brent in 2015 and $5 lower in 2016.