Oil fell more than 1 percent on Friday as players took profit on a rally with little pause over the past week that propelled prices nearly 15 percent to four-month highs on hopes of OPEC crude output cuts.
Also weighing on the market was the steady rise in U.S. oil drilling as prices trade at or near $50 a barrel. A closely-watch report from oil services firm Baker Hughes on Friday showed U.S. drillers adding rigs in 14 of the past 15 weeks.
Brent crude were down 65 cents, or 1.2 percent, $51.86 at 2:37 p.m. ET (1437 GMT), after touching $52.84 earlier, two cents below the 2016 high.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures settled down 63 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $49.81 per barrel. They settled at $50.44 per barrel on Thursday — the first settlement above $50 since late June.
Despite the drop, Brent and WTI remain up more than 10 percent since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries wrong-footed many market participants eight days ago with its first production cut plan in eight years.