Oil traded near $65 a barrel after U.S. explorers idled the most rigs since November, easing fears over surging shale production.
Futures in New York added 0.4 percent Monday after capping a third consecutive quarterly gain on Thursday. The number of rigs searching for oil in the U.S. fell by 7 to 797, the biggest drop since Nov. 3, Baker Hughes data showed last week. OPEC shipments will decline by 230,000 barrels a day to 24.25 million barrels a day in the four weeks to April 14, according to tanker-tracker Oil Movements.
West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery added 24 cents to $65.18 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 9:46 a.m. in Tokyo. The contract climbed 56 cents to $64.94 on Thursday. No futures were traded in New York or London on Friday due to the Good Friday holiday. Total volume traded was about 41 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for June settlement rose 35 cents to $69.69 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The May contract climbed 74 cents to close at $70.27 before expiration on Thursday. The global benchmark traded at a $4.56premium to June WTI.