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Oil near US$50 amid drop in US rigs, disruptions in Nigeria
[TOKYO] Oil traded near US$50 after a drop in active rigs in the US and further supply disruption in Nigeria.
Futures rose as much as 0.8 per cent in New York. Rigs targeting crude in the US fell by 2 to 316, after no change the previous week, Baker Hughes Inc. said on its website on Friday.
Explorers have dropped more than 1,000 oil rigs since the start of last year. A Nigerian militant group said it blew up three pipelines in the oil-rich Niger River delta on Saturday, the third attack in as many days, as it steps up an offensive to cripple the West African nation's oil and gas industry.
Oil has rebounded since tumbling to a 12-year low in February amid output declines in the US, Nigeria and Canada. Prices climbed above US$50 a barrel on Thursday as declining US crude supplies eroded a global glut.
West Texas Intermediate for July delivery gained as much as 39 cents to US$49.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at US$49.67 at 7.25am Tokyo time. The contract fell 15 cents to close at US$49.33 on Friday.
Brent for July settlement, which expires on Tuesday, rose as much as 36 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to US$49.68 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract declined 27 cents to US$49.32 on Friday. The global benchmark crude was at a 5-cent discount to WTI.