Today's gains were the result of expectations that the low prices could push U.S. shale production downwards as the current prices would render shale production more costly. However, the market players are still worried about the global economic outlook amid the global trade wars, especially between China and the U.S. The worries continue to keep a lid on the increase of prices.
On Friday, Brent crude traded at $53.22 per barrel at 11.57 GMT on Friday, WTI saw prices of $45.42 per barrel, with both benchmark prices showing decreases since last Monday's opening.
The oil rig count in the U.S. showed an increase last week, according to data released by oilfield services company Baker Hughes on Friday.
The number of oil rigs in the country rose by 10 for the week ending Dec. 21, bringing the total count to 883 from 873 the week before, the data revealed.
Following the increase in the oil rig count, crude oil prices showed losses in the global market on Friday.
In addition, The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed Thursday that crude oil production in the country rose by 7,000 barrels per day (bpd) last week, to around 11.6 million bpd for the week ending Dec. 14, according to the EIA. Crude oil production in the country had seen record high levels reaching 11.7 million bpd since the week ending Nov. 9.
Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) told Anadolu Agency on Friday that the growth of the U.S.' crude oil production is estimated to become equivalent to the total of Saudi Arabia and Russia by 2025.
"There is a huge increase in U.S. shale oil and it is changing the balance in the oil market," Birol said in an exclusive interview hosted by Anadolu Agency's energy desk.
"A few years ago, Russia and Saudi Arabia were competing with one another as the biggest crude oil producers in the world, then the U.S. came to take the top spot," he said.
Saudi Arabia and Russia both saw their crude oil output reach record high levels in October, with 10.7 million barrels per day (mbpd) and 11.4 mbpd, respectively.
By Gulsen Cagatay