WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Crude oil futures ended flat on Friday as traders stayed largely cautious, weighing near term prospects for energy demand and supply.
According to reports, the Tropical Storm Barry is likely to become a hurricane on reaching the Louisiana coast on Saturday.
Over 250 production platforms in the region have been evacuated so far and close to 60% of Gulf oil production and about 50% of natural-gas production have been shut.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended at $60.21 a barrel, up just a penny over previous close.
For the week, oil futures gained about 4.7%.
Rising worries about Middle East tensions and fairly encouraging export data from China supported oil prices and prevented a decline.
Traders were also reacting to a report from the International Energy Agency that said surging U.S. oil output will outpace sluggish global demand and lead to a large inventory build around the world in the next nine months.
A report from Baker Hughes said the U.S. oil rig count fell for the second straight week, with drillers cutting four oil rigs in the week to July 12, reducing the total to 784, the lowest since February 2018.
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