Brent sees slight rise to $66.27 on Monday


International benchmark Brent crude registered at $66.27 per barrel at 0808 GMT while the price of American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) saw a price of $56.52 per barrel on Monday, with both benchmarks showing slight increases.

Brent closed Friday at $65.08 per barrel while WTI traded at $55.69 per barrel.

The number of oil rigs in the U.S. dropped to 834 for the week ending March 8, down by 9 over the previous week, according to data released by oilfield services company Baker Hughes on Friday.

Despite the decrease in the oil rig count, oil slumped on the global market on Friday, with international benchmark Brent crude closing at $65.17 per barrel while WTI finished the day at $56.06 a barrel.

Crude prices declined after the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the region is undergoing “a period of continued weakness and pervasive uncertainty,” as he announced cuts to the bank’s economic growth and inflation forecasts in the 19-country Eurozone area.

Weakness in the U.S. job growth market, which ground to a near-halt in February and saw the least number of new jobs since September 2017, was another factor that pushed crude oil prices down last week.

Oil prices were volatile over the last few weeks due to the U.S.’ output surpassing that of Saudi Arabia and Russia to remain the world’s largest oil producer.

The U.S. saw its crude output remain near a record high level of 12.1 million barrels per day for the week ending March 1, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) last Wednesday.