Crude oil futures closed slightly lower on Friday after data showed the U.S. oil rig count barely rose this week, allaying fears of an acceleration in drilling that could bring on a surfeit of new supply to the market.
U.S. energy firms added five oil rigs this week, despite a 19 percent collapse in U.S. crude prices from a recent high, a sign drillers were ready to return to the well pad.
The gains came after 29 consecutive weeks of declines, bringing the total rig count up to 645, compared with 1,563 at this time last year, Baker Hughes said in its closely followed report.
Brent crude was up 2 cents at $58.62 a barrel by 2:33 p.m. EDT. Brent had settled up more than 3 percent on Thursday, a powerful rebound from Tuesday's three-month lows.
Front-month U.S. crude futures closed 4 cents lower at $52.74 a barrel.