US crude settles lower at $53.17 as focus shifts to rising US output, ends the week up 1.4%
Oil prices slipped on Friday, extending losses after data suggested drilling is ramping up in the United States, easing the focus on efforts by OPEC and other producers to support prices by cutting supplies.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled down 61 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $53.17 a barrel, but ended the week 1.4 percent higher.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down 75 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $55.49 per barrel at 2:35 p.m. ET (1935 GMT). They were on pace for a weekly loss.
The U.S. weekly oil and gas rig count from Baker Hughes showed that U.S. drillers added 15 oil rigs in the week, the 12th gain in 13 weeks. That brought the total count to 566, the most since November 2015.
“We’re in a holding pattern at this point in time,” said Mark Watkins, regional investment manager at U.S. Bank Private Client Group. “Supply is a big factor right now and you have the U.S. really filling that gap that OPEC has left open.”
Prices had risen during Asian business hours, though activity was low due to the start of the Lunar New Year holiday in most countries of the region, including China and Singapore.
Written by Reuters, published by CNBC