Crude was down slightly on Friday as expectations that OPEC and other producers will extend their production cut agreement were offset by U.S. drillers adding the most oil rigs in a week since June, indicating output will continue to grow.
U.S. energy companies added nine oil drilling rigs this week, the second increase in three weeks, bringing the total count up to 738, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report.
Brent futures fell 41 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $63.52 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled down 43 cents at $56.74 per barrel.
Earlier in the week, Brent rose to $64.65, its highest since June 2015, and WTI hit $57.92, its highest since July 2015.
Both contracts were rose more than 2 percent this week, which was the fifth consecutive increase.
Traders said higher prices in recent weeks were the result of efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia to tighten the market by cutting output, as well as strong demand and rising political tensions.
There are also expectations in the market that OPEC’s next meeting on Nov. 30 will agree to extend cuts beyond the current expiry date in March 2018. Read More…