(Reuters) -Baker Hughes Co on Thursday reported an adjusted quarterly profit compared with a year-ago loss, as producers took advantage of a rise in crude prices that fueled demand for oilfield service equipment.

Oil prices surged more than 50% last year on hopes of a global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and as OPEC+ cut supplies, even as coronavirus infections around the world continued to surge.

The higher crude prices encouraged U.S. producers to ramp up drilling activity, with the U.S. rig count rising to 586 at the end of the fourth quarter, compared with 348 at the close of the December quarter in 2020, according to Baker Hughes data.

“We believe the broader macro recovery should translate into rising energy demand for 2022 and relatively tight supplies for oil and natural gas, providing an attractive investment environment for our customers and a strong tailwind for many of our product companies,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, the chief executive officer of Baker Hughes.

Adjusted net income stood at $224 million, or 25 cents per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $50 million, or 7 cents per share, last year.

(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)