Oil prices steadied heading into the weekend.
U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude futures for June delivery fell 0.11% to $71.41 per barrel at 2 p.m. New York time.
London-based Brent crude futures dipped 0.59% to $78.83 after touching $80 a barrel earlier this week. Still, the global benchmark is on track for its sixth-straight weekly advance Friday.
WTI crude reversed earlier gains even as U.S. oil and producers tempered drilling this week. Oil rigs remained unchanged at 844, while gas rigs climbed by one to 200. Including two Miscellaneous rigs, the overall U.S. rig count totals 1,046, according to Baker Hughes (BHGE) .
The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) dropped about 0.7% at 2 p.m. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) fell 0.5% and Chevron Corp. (CVX) declined by 1.1%. Shares of Action Alerts PLUS holding Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) held relatively flat.
Prior to Friday, crude prices had been climbing as traders harbored concerns of supply disruptions in the Middle East and Venezuela that could tighten the global oil market.
The U.S. earlier this month pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, renewing sanctions on the country, which the third largest producer among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC. Sanctions on Iran could limit its ability to export crude oil, leading to further supply shortages.
Simultaneously, fellow OPEC member country Venezuela has continued to undergo extreme economic collapse, putting the country's crude supply in jeopardy.
Given the potential supply disruptions, there is a "real possibility" of oil reaching $100 per barrel, according to Jefferies energy analyst Jason Gammel.
"It is really going to be primarily dependent on whether all of the supply risks that appear to be emerging all come together at the same time," Gammel told Bloomberg.
TheStreet presents on May 22: "How to Stomach Market Volatility." Hosted by Fisher Investments, the exclusive live webinar will give you the tools to successfully navigate market volatility and discuss why having a wealth manager is more critical than ever before. Quickly register for the event here.