Oil prices recovered from the huge losses in the earlier week, due in part to rising expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will extend the current production cut deal.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose 35 cents to touch $52.31 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures CLc1 increased 32 cents and traded at $49.84 a barrel, reported Reuters.
Crude prices witnessed a steep fall last week on consistent high supplies, despite an ongoing effort by OPEC members and other producers to reduce production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first six months of 2017.
US drillers increased the number of oil rigs for a 14th consecutive week to a total of 688 rigs, which is expected to give a boost to US shale production next month.
US crude production rates are reported to have recently improved to 9.25 million bpd, a 10% increase over mid-2016 rate of output.
Rivkin Securities investment analyst William O'Loughlin was quoted by the news agency as saying: "WTI oil slipped back below the $50 per barrel level, amid concerns that the lack of inventory drawdown since the OPEC production cuts is a sign that the cuts are not enough to rebalance supply and demand and put a floor under prices.”
The market was supported by a drop in Iranian oil output coinciding with a rise in US production rates.