Oil prices have fallen after US shale drillers increased the number of rigs in operation.

Brent crude oil futures slipped 53 cents to £47.48 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate futures edged down 66 cents to $45.22, Reuters reported.

Traders said the fall in oil prices is primarily due to an increase in oil drilling activity in the US.

Baker Hughes announced that average US rig count for last month was 481, up by 32 from the 449 in July. This figure was down by 402 from the 883 recorded in August 2015.

"The idea that we will continue to bounce off the $50 per barrel handle is proving correct."

Freight Investor Services fuel broker Matt Stanley told the news agency: "The idea that we will continue to bounce off the $50 per barrel handle is proving correct."

Adding to the pressure, the dollar value also increased against the Australian dollar and other emerging- currencies.

Non-US investors may cash-in on their assets such as crude oil that are dollar-denominated, as the dollar becomes stronger.

In addition, prices are set to drop amid expectations of an increase in refined product exports from China later this year.

Analysts said that even though exporters agree to output freeze proposal around current levels, it will do little to increase prices as most exporters are pumping more oil.