NEW YORK, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices advanced on Friday after data showed a drop in weekly U.S. oil-rig count.
The West Texas Intermediate for December delivery gained 41 cents to settle at 42.15 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for January delivery increased 76 cents to close at 44.96 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
The number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil decreased by 5 to 231 this week, Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday.
Meanwhile, surging COVID-19 infections continue to present a threat to crude demand.
More than 57.3 million COVID-19 cases have been reported globally with the death toll exceeding 1.36 million as of Friday afternoon, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
For the week, both crude benchmarks rose about 5 percent.