Oil prices were mostly flat on Friday in see-saw trade, under pressure from weak U.S. demand but drawing support from a sharp decline in Iraqi crude exports due to tensions in the Kurdistan region.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures ended Friday's session 18 cents higher at $51.47 per barrel and were flat for the week. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were up 29 cents at $57.52 per barrel by 2:10 p.m. ET (1810 GMT).
"We've continued to see signs that the market needs a steady drumbeat of positive information," said Gene McGillian, director of market research for Tradition Energy. "This week's DOE report where gasoline demand dropped to its lowest since March gave a little pause to that."
Oil exports from Iraq's Kurdistan towards the Turkish port of Ceyhan were flowing at average rates on Friday of 216,000 barrels per day versus the usual flows of 600,000 bpd, a shipping source said.