Crude prices were higher in choppy trading on Friday, with Brent on track to its largest weekly drop in six months, as strong U.S. jobs data and bargain hunting by investors pitted against seasonally weak consumption of oil.
The oil market initially rose about 1 percent or more after the U.S. economy posted the largest job gains in eight months in June and on worries about fresh militant attacks on Nigerian oil infrastructure. But the gains faded after concerns over supplies later returned.
"It's choppy and will likely stay so," said David Thompson, executive vice-president at Washington-based commodities broker Powerhouse. "It'll be a tug of war today between the very strong jobs numbers and the existing bearish oil market fundamentals."
The market also digested U.S. rig count data from Baker Hughes, which showed rigs rise by 10 this week to 351, posting their fifth straight weekly increase.