Extending losing streak for the fourth straight day, crude oil futures ended sharply lower to finish at their lowest levels in weeks on Friday, as reports said Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia are considering lifting production by as much as 1 million barrels a day to meet the shortfall in supply from Iran and Venezuela. Data on Friday showing the biggest weekly rise in the number of active U.S. oil rigs, which suggests a possible uptick in production, also contributed in the decline in prices. The number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil was up 15 at 859 this week. That was the largest weekly rise since the week ended February 9.
Benchmark crude oil futures for July delivery fell $2.83 or 4 percent to settle at $67.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. July Brent crude slipped $2.35 or 3 percent to settle at $76.44 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.