Oil edged up slightly on Friday but headed for the biggest weekly loss since mid-March on concerns over demand recovery amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases globally.
Brent crude futures for September delivery rose 0.3 percent to $73.69 a barrel, after having declined 1.7 percent on Thursday. Prices remain down nearly 2.5 percent this week, marking a third weekly loss.
West Texas Intermediate for August settlement edged up 0.4 percent to $71.92 a barrel after losing 2 percent the previous day. Prices were down more than 3 percent for the week.
As new variants become more pervasive, the COVID-19 curve in the U.S. is rising again after months of decline.
Some countries are beginning to tighten restriction restrictions as the fast-spreading delta variant sweeps across the globe.
Analysts say the renewed restrictions could hamper oil demand in the days and weeks to come in parts of the world.
Crude markets are also facing the prospect of extra supplies from the OPEC+ coalition after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates reportedly reached a compromise deal in a standoff over output quotas.