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Data: Baker Hughes; Chart: Axios Visuals

The demand for oil has been rising as consumers emerge from their homes, and businesses rev up to serve them. However, oil companies are dragging their feet on ramping up production, new data from Baker Hughes showed Friday.

Why it matters: When production doesn't keep up with demand, it drives prices higher. Oil companies used to respond enthusiastically to rising prices by drilling more, in an attempt to cash in.

  • But that resulted in supply gluts that lowered prices, sending many companies into bankruptcy.
  • Now, they're more disciplined, increasing production very slowly in response to demand.

By the numbers: Each week, Baker Hughes provides a tally of all the active oil rigs in the U.S.

  • As of July 9, there were just 378 active rigs, up only slightly from 376 the week before — but down from over 600 pre-pandemic.
  • A barrel of WTI crude is about $73, up from about $40 a year ago.

Meanwhile, crude inventories have fallen to their lowest level since February 2020. The inventory drawdowns confirm supplies are getting tighter.

Our thought bubble, via Axios’ Ben Geman: "Producers are exercising caution despite the demand revival and price rise. We're a long ways off from seeing the pre-pandemic output peak, if ever."

What to watch: Rising crude prices are visible to consumers in the form of what we pay for gasoline at the pump.

  • The Consumer Price Index report to be released on Tuesday will show how much energy prices are inflating.
  • And throughout earnings season listen for what companies say about energy costs they absorb versus the costs they pass on to customers through higher prices.

Go deeper

36 mins ago - World

Biden: U.S. combat mission in Iraq will end this year

Biden returning to the White House on July 25. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The United States' combat mission against the Islamic State in Iraq will be completed "by the end of the year," President Biden said Monday prior to a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Why it matters: Biden is close to shifting the U.S. military mission in Iraq to a fully advisory role more than 18 years after combat troops were sent to the country under the former President George W. Bush.

How extreme weather feeds inflation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

This summer's extreme weather is having ripple effects that could raise food prices in the U.S. and disrupt diets around the world.

Why it matters: Climate scientists and food supply experts, like those at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, have long warned about the impact of human-caused global warming on prices, food shortages and hunger.

EA Sports is in expansion mode

EA Sports general manager Daryl Holt (left). Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photos: EA Sports

The biggest player in sports video games has plans to get even bigger — on mobile, in football, maybe even with basketball again — EA Sports general manager Daryl Holt said in an exclusive interview with Axios.

Why it matters: Sports gaming doesn’t get much press, but it’s a surging market with increased competition and lots of players up for grabs.