Crude oil prices pointed higher early on Friday ahead of weekly data from oil services firm Baker Hughes due later in the day, which will signal the supply response of U.S. oil drillers to higher prices.
ICE Brent was last quoted up 0.42 percent at US$81.68. while NYMEX West Texas Intermediate was flat. Brent rose 0.47 percent to settle at US$81.72 a barrel, while WTI gained 0.77 percent to US$72.12 a barrel.
The Baker Hughes rig count last stood at 866, up slightly last week as global oil prices rose before the U.S. is set to reimpose sanctions on Iran, which will to come fully in effect in early November. The data are due at 1300 U.S. EDT.
“Dips remain incredibly well supported as Iran sanction continues to underpin sentiment,” Stephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at OANDA, said in a note on Friday. “With oil fund managers and traders alike comfortably seated in the bull camp until further notice, oil prices look poised to extend on this week’s gains.