Oil prices steadied on Friday amid short-covering after a week-long selloff but were on track to end the month about 15 percent lower on persistent glut concerns.
Slower economic growth and high inventories in crude and refined oil products have pressured Brent and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures some 20 percent lower from their 2016 highs, technically placing both in bear market territory.
The two benchmarks hit April lows on Friday before paring losses on what traders described as short-covering by investors taking profit on bearish bets placed over the past week.
Also on Friday, Baker Hughes reported the number of oil rigs operating in U.S. fields rose by 3 to 374 last week, marking the fifth straight increase in a row. At this time last year, drillers were running 664 rigs.
A three-week low in the dollar also supported oil, making commodities denominated in the greenback, such as crude, more affordable to holders of the euro and other currencies.