Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday as worries about outlook for energy demand amid continued surge in coronavirus cases and lockdown restrictions weighed on the commodity.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended lower by $0.28 or about 0.5% at $59.32 a barrel.

WTI Crude oil futures shed more than 3% in the week.

Brent Crude futures were down $0.23 or 0.36% at $62.97 a barrel a little while ago.

The decision of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied producers to gradually increase their output by 2 million barrels per day between May and July, raised concerns about possible excess supply in the market if lockdown restrictions remain in place for a longer duration.

In India, refiners are reportedly holding back crude runs as demand slows, with headwinds ahead in the near term, including high fuel prices and localized lockdowns due to rising cases of covid-19 in several states.

Efforts to resolve a nuclear standoff between the U.S. and Iran as well as recent data showing a surge in U.S. gasoline stocks also weighed on oil prices.

Baker Hughes today reported that the number of oil and gas rigs in the United States increased by 2 this week, bringing the total rig count to 432.

The oil rig count remains the same as last week, at 337 this week. The number of gas rigs increased by 2 to 93.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com