Investing.com – Oil futures settled higher on Friday, but posted a weekly loss of around 2% as the market weighed rising shale production and record-high stockpiles in the U.S. against efforts by major producers to cut output to reduce a global glut.
The May contract inched up 27 cents, or around 0.6%, to $47.97 a barrel by close of trade Friday, snapping a four-session losing streak. It touched $47.01 on Wednesday, a level not seen since November 30.
For the week, the U.S. benchmark declined 81 cents, or around 1.7%, the third weekly loss in a month.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, for May delivery tacked on 24 cents to settle at $50.80 a barrel by close of trade. The global benchmark hit $49.71 on Wednesday, its cheapest since November 30.
London-traded Brent futures logged a drop of 96 cents, or about 1.9%, on the week.
Data from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes on Friday revealed that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil last week, the tenth weekly increase in a row. That brought the total count to 652, the most since September 2015.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that rose by 5.0 million barrels last week to an all-time high of 533.1 million, feeding concerns about a global glut.
Oil has fallen sharply this month amid concern that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand.
OPEC agreed in November last year to curb its output by about 1.2 million barrels per day between January and June. Russia and 10 other non-OPEC producers have agreed to jointly cut by an additional 600,000 barrels per day.
In total, they agreed to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels per day to 32.5 million for the first six months of the year, but so far the move has had little impact on inventory levels.
OPEC’s latest monthly report showed global oil stocks in January rose to 278 million barrels above the five-year average.
OPEC members increasingly favor extending the output curb beyond June to balance the market, sources within the group said, although they added that this would require non-OPEC members such as Russia to also step up their efforts.
Kuwait is scheduled to host a ministerial meeting on Sunday comprising representatives from Algeria, Venezuela, and non-OPEC nations Russia and Oman to review compliance with the output agreement and to discuss whether cuts would be extended beyond June.
Elsewhere on Nymex, for April inched up 1.5 cents, or about 1% to $1.604 on Friday. It ended up around 0.4% for the week.
April added 0.7 cents to finish at $1.497 a gallon. For the week, the fuel lost roughly 0.2%.
for April delivery rose 2.5 cents to $3.076 per million British thermal units. It posted a weekly gain of around 4.6%.
In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.
Meanwhile, traders will pay close attention to comments from a meeting Sunday of major crude producers in Kuwait for further signals of compliance and whwther the deal will be extended into the second half of the year.
said on Saturday the market is a decisive factor in deciding whether to extend into the second half of this year a global agreement on reducing oil output.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Saturday that it is still too early to decide whether prolonging the deal is warranted, and that the situation would be clearer in April-May.
Algerian Energy Minister Nouredine Bouterfa told reporters an extension could benefit the market.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Tuesday, March 28
The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.
Wednesday, March 29
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.
Thursday, March 30
The U.S. government is to produce a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.
Friday, March 31
Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.