Crude futures pared losses after Baker Hughes reported U.S. energy firms cut 13 oil rigs for the first time in seven weeks, as a renewed slump in prices this summer forced drillers to make a second round of cut-backs.
The decline brings the total to the week ending Sept. 4 down to 662, the lowest since mid-July. The number of rigs in U.S. oilfields stood at 1,584 at this time last year.
The decline comes the same week new government data showed the U.S. oil industry pumped less crude than initially estimated this year, evidence that drillers were scaling back production amid collapsing prices.
Oil prices had fallen alongside stocks on Wall Street on Friday as the oil market awaited a weekly reading on the U.S. oil rig count, after jobs data from the world's No. 1 economy failed to provide much direction.