Oil prices settled lower Friday after the release of U.S. oil rig count data and amid growing oversupply concerns.
U.S. oil rigs rose by 17 — snapping a four-week declining streak — and now total 541, Baker Hughes said Friday. The total number of rigs remains significantly lower than last year, having fallen by 995 in that time.
Global benchmark Brent crude traded 26 cents lower, at $36.80 a barrel. U.S. crude futures settled at $34.73 a barrel, down 0.6 percent, or 22 cents, after trading near a seven-year low of $34.39 a barrel. Earlier, both benchmarks gained more than 1 percent on short covering.
US oil this weekSource: FactSet
The global supply glut that brought prices close to 11-year lows this week means Brent will post losses for a third consecutive year, the first time that has happened since exchange-based oil trading started in the 1980s.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures are set for a second straight yearly loss, the first time that will have happened for the U.S. oil pricing benchmark since 1998.