Crude prices retreat ahead U.S. oil rigs data
Crude prices sharpened their decline in European trade on Friday on U.S. oversupply concerns after crude inventories surged to the highest since 1982, and ahead of U.S. oil rigs data.
As of 12:55 GMT, U.S. crude fell to $53.10 a barrel from the opening of $53.45, with an intraday high at $53.50, and a low at $52.93.
U.S. crude March futures closed up 0.9% yesterday after OPEC opened the door for more production cuts in the future.
U.S. crude stocks surged last week to the highest level since the start of collecting data in 1982, registering the sixth weekly rise in a row, in a negative sign for demand in the world's largest oil consumer.
The Energy Information Administration expects shale production to rise by 80 thousand bpd next month, and for total production to hit record highs in 2018.
Later today, Baker Hughes will release data on U.S. oil rigs, expected to rise for the fifth week in a row from the current total of 591 rigs, already the highest since October 2015.