Oil prices closed lower on Friday after Baker Hughes said the number of U.S. rigs for drilling fell to the lowest since 2010 this week, suggesting the collapse in drilling may be coming to an end after slumping crude prices caused energy companies to idle half of the country's rigs since October.
The weekly count fell by 26 rigs, bringing the total number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States to 734, the oilfield services firm said. The rig count has fallen for 19 consecutive weeks.
U.S. crude for May closed down 97 cents, or 1.71%, at $55.74 a barrel. Brent for June was down 50 cents at $63.50 a barrel, after trading in positive territory above $64 earlier. Brent reached a 2015 high of $64.95 on Thursday.
Brent crude dipped in and out of positive territory earlier on Friday as turmoil in Yemen and the Middle East limited price pressure after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said its March production jumped by 810,000 barrels per day to 30.79 million bpd, led by Saudi Arabia.