The number of oil rigs in the U.S. decreased by 3 this week, from the previous week, according to data released by oilfield services company Baker Hughes on Friday.
The oil rig count in the U.S. declined 776 for the week ending July 26, from 779 the week before, the data showed.
Following the data, international benchmark Brent crude closed Friday at $63.30 per barrel, marking a 0.33% increase over Thursday's closing price of $63.09.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was up 0.50% on Friday, ending the day at $56.19 a barrel, after closing the previous day at $55.91 per barrel.
Brent oil prices continued their upward trend on Friday as escalated tensions in the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said last Friday that it confiscated a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for the seizure by British Royal Marines of an Iranian-flagged oil tanker off Gibraltar on July 4.
To further escalate market supply concerns, Libya’s El-Sharara oilfield was shut down due to suspected valve closure, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) confirmed last Saturday. The El-Sharara oilfield produces more than 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day, forming roughly one third of the oil-rich country's production.
By Muhsin Baris Tiryakioglu