The number of oil rigs in the U.S. dropped to 834 in the week ending March 8, down by nine over the previous week, according to data released by oilfield services company Baker Hughes on Friday.
Despite the decrease in the oil rig count, oil slumped in the global market on Friday, with international benchmark Brent crude closing at $65.17 per barrel while American benchmark West Texas Intermediate finished the day at $56.06 a barrel.
Crude oil prices declined after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the region is in 'a period of continued weakness and pervasive uncertainty,' as he announced cuts to the bank's economic growth and inflation forecasts in the 19-country eurozone.
The weakness in the U.S. job growth market, which ground to a near-halt in February and saw the least number of new jobs since September 2017, was another factor that pushed crude oil prices down.
This, combined with the almost 22 percent slump in China's February exports amid the unresolved trade dispute with the U.S. continue to restrain the prospects for new oil demand, according to analysts.
According to the data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday, crude oil production in the country decreased by 5,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 12.1 million bpd (mbpd) for the week ending March 1.
The U.S.' crude oil production is expected to average 12.1 mbpd in 2019 and 12.9 mbpd in 2020, according to the EIA's Short Term Energy Outlook report for January.
By Hale Turkes