Oil futures prices fell last week despite settling higher on Friday. Brent and West Texas Intermediate recouped some of their recent losses on Friday, a day after posting their biggest one-day loss since December.
But over the week prices saw their worst weekly performance of the year.
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery rose 72 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $US58.63 a barrel in New York. Front-month contract prices lost a solid 6.8% for the week.
Global benchmark July Brent added 93 cents, or 1.4%, to $US68.69 a barrel, down 4.9% lower for the week.
Brent had shed 4.6%, while WTI was lost 5.7%, on Thursday — the biggest daily losses since December. The week’s losses for both benchmark crudes were also the largest year to date.
Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of rigs active for oil fell by 5 to 797 this week. That followed declines over each of the last two weeks. The total active oil and gas rig count, meanwhile, fell by 4 to 983, according to Baker Hughes.
Oil found support Friday from gains in global stock markets following reports that President Donald Trump may ease up on restrictions against Huawei Technologies as part of a bigger trade deal with China.
US crude oil inventories rose last week, hitting their highest levels since July 2017, due to weak refinery demand, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Commercial crude oil stocks rose by 4.7 million barrels in the week ended May 17, to 476.8 million barrels, their highest since July 2017, the EIA figures showed.
Beyond weak refinery demand for feedstock crude oil, the increase in commercial inventories also came on the back of planned sales of U.S. strategic petroleum reserves into the commercial market.
US crude oil production climbed by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 12.2 million bpd, putting output near its record of 12.3 million bpd reached late last month.