Oil prices were volatile as concerns over the global oil oversupply continued to weigh. Saudi Arabia on Thursday lowered its crude prices for customers in Asia. Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), the country's state-owned oil company, said that it cut its Arab Light crude by $0.20 a barrel to $1 a barrel. Saudi Aramco lowered the premium for Arab Extra Light crude by $0.40 a barrel to $1.30 a barrel. This action could add to the escalation of the situation in the Middle East as Iran plans to raise its oil exports.
Market participants are also awaiting the release of the number of active U.S. rigs later in the day. The oil driller Baker Hughes reported on last Friday that the number of active U.S. rigs declined by 12 rigs to 498 last week. It was the lowest level since March 2010.
WTI crude oil for March delivery traded in the range $30.92 - $32.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude oil for April fell to $34.35 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.