The number of oil rigs in the U.S. increased to 833 in the week ending April 12, up by 2 over the previous week, according to data released by oilfield services company Baker Hughes on Friday.
Despite the increase in the oil rig count, driven by geopolitical risks in Libya and Venezuela, international benchmark Brent crude was around $71 on Friday and closed at $71.65 while American benchmark West Texas Intermediate finished the day at $63.81 a barrel.
The price of Brent crude oil opened above $70.61 per barrel at 0540 GMT at trading start on Monday while WTI registered at $63.35 per barrel at the same time, sustaining five-month highs as global oil supply tightens with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) and Russia led non-OPEC countries' cuts, along with sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.
Crude prices have been on the rise since the beginning of 2019 with falling global oil supply.
Due to U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, both countries' oil production levels are in decline, and are expected to account for a total of 1.76 million barrels per day (bpd) in lost output this year.
The supply cut deal of Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and Russia led non-OPEC continues to put an upward pressure on crude prices.
In addition, in Libya, tensions between the UN-backed Government of National Accord and east Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar escalated, posing risks against the secure supply of crude from the OPEC nation.
By Murat Temizer