The price of Brent crude dropped below $60 a barrel on Friday as a worldwide abundant supply of oil indicated continued growth, despite more energy firms cutting upstream investments.

Reuters reported that Brent crude for February delivery increased 4 cents to $59.31 a barrel, while US crude for January delivery was up 31 cents at $54.42.

"Several oil firms have unveiled cuts in exploration and capital investments as projects will be uneconomical due to the decline of oil prices."

OPEC recently decided not to cut production, despite a near 50% drop in oil prices since June.

Newedge Japan commodity sales manager Ken Hasegawa was quoted by the news agency as saying: "Following the long and steep decline in oil prices, we have seen some buying interest in recent days. But there is still a lot of selling pressure.

"But for now there is no significant halt in production and no change to the supply and demand situation. So oil prices can still go lower."

Several oil firms have unveiled cuts in exploration and capital investments as projects will be uneconomical due to the decline of oil prices.

Energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie predicted that oil companies will need to cut 2015 investments by $170bn if Brent remains around its current level.

Saudi Arabia Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said OPEC needs the support of other big producers to cut production and efforts to get them on board have so far failed.

al-Naimi said OPEC will find it difficult to implent cuts alone to reverse the oil price slump, which he says will be temporary.