Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday, as the dollar gained in strength amid rising bond yields and the latest batch encouraging economic data.
Reports that U.S. supplies are picking up fast after last week’s cold-induced shutdown of facilities hurt production contributed as well to the drop in oil prices.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended up $2.03 or about 3.2% at $61.50 a barrel.
However, WTI crude oil futures gained nearly 4% this week. The contract gained almost 18% in February.
Brent Crude futures shed $2.46 or about 3.7% today, settling at $64.42 a barrel. The contract gained 2.5% in the week, and rose as much as 15% in February.
According to a report from Baker Hughes, oil and natural gas rigs count in the U.S. surged for a seventh month, rising by 5 to 402 this week. However, the addition of 18 rigs in February, is much less compared to the addition of 33 rigs and 31 rigs in January and December, respectively.
It is widely expected that the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and allies, together called OPEC+, will consider increasing crude production by 500,000 barrels per day from April.