Oil traded near $60 a barrel as explorers in the U.S. increased drilling activity for the first time since November.
Futures were little changed in New York after falling 1.7 percent on Friday. The number of onshore rigs climbed by three to 853, while total machines targeting oil slid by one, data from Baker Hughes Inc. showed. Venezuela is working with OPEC members to boost prices, President Nicolas Maduro said in a national address.
Oil’s rebound from a six-year low is faltering near $60 a barrel amid speculation that rising prices will encourage companies such as EOG Resources Inc. to add to supplies. Crude inventories in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer, are close to the highest level in 85 years, according to the Energy Information Administration.
West Texas Intermediate for July delivery was at $59.81 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 9 cents, at 11:32 a.m. Sydney time. The contract declined $1 to $59.72 on Friday. Total volume was about 81 percent below the 100-day average. Prices, little changed in May, have gained 12 percent this year.
There will be no Nymex floor session Monday because of the Memorial Day holiday and transactions will be booked Tuesday for settlement purposes.
Brent for July settlement was 10 cents higher at $65.47 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.70 to WTI.