Oil little changed after choppy trade, WTI ends at 11-week high


Oil prices remained little changed in choppy trade on Friday as traders flip-flopped between the negative fundamentals of persistent oversupply and support cushions from a sixth weekly decline in U.S. oil rig counts.

U.S. crude CLc1 closed up 20 cents at $49.63, the highest settle since late July, while Brent crude LCOc1 ended 40 cents down at $52.65 on Friday.

Despite Friday's decline in Brent, both the North Sea crude and WTI benchmarks gained about 9 percent in the week, the biggest weekly percentage gain in the last six weeks.

U.S. energy firms cut oil rigs for a sixth week in a row this week, the longest streak of weekly declines since June, data released on Friday showed, a sign low prices continued to keep drillers away from the well pad.

Drillers removed nine oil rigs in the week ended Oct. 9, bringing the total rig count down to 605, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc (BHI.N) said in its closely followed report. However, some oil analysts believe that fall might not be enough to rein in the oil bears. (by KOUSTAV SAMANTA, Reuters)