Oil fell 1 percent on Wednesday after a report showed a rise in US crude inventories, while concerns about the impact of USA sanctions on Venezuela on global supplies eased.
"Distillate demand increased sharply last week due to the extreme cold weather, which contributed to the declining distillate stocks", said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.
National Security Adviser John Bolton and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announce sanctions against Venezuela state-owned oil company PDVSA and embattled president Nicolas Maduro.
With fresh sanctions potentially looming, a flotilla loaded with about 7 million barrels of Venezuelan oil has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, some holding cargoes bought ahead of the latest US sanctions and others whose buyers are weighing who to pay, according to traders, shippers and Refinitiv Eikon data.
USA crude was up 42 cents at $54.08 a barrel, while Brent crude was up 63 cents at $62.61 a barrel by 11:25 a.m. EDT [1525 GMT].
International Brent crude oil futures had yet to trade.
But for those who prefer to scrutinize the trading community, then get set for more wild price swings: that was the message delivered by Robert McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group, who said, "In this boom-bust era, as in prior ones, you can have a year or two of stability, but in general when you don't have an effective swing producer and you have big imbalances and geopolitical risk, there's volatility".
Led Coalition Denies Confrontation with Iran-Backed Militia in Iraq
"Certainly, we are aware that ( President Trump ) had expressed a desire and intent in the past to depart Iraq, depart Syria ". Some Iraqi lawmakers are working on a draft bill calling for the withdrawal of the more than 5,000 USA troops from the country.
Net U.S. crude imports fell last week by 863,000 barrels per day. Stocks gained by 1.3 million barrels in the week ended February 1, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2.2 million barrels.
The producers known as OPEC+ started cutting production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from last month to avert a new supply glut, and OPEC has delivered nearly three quarters of its pledged cuts already, a Reuters survey showed last week. The United States is now the world's largest oil producer, ahead of traditional top suppliers Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.
Concern about weaker global economic growth and the trade dispute between the United States and China have also weighed on sentiment.
Citgo, the eighth-largest USA refiner and Venezuela's top foreign asset, is in the middle of a tug of war as the Trump administration has made aggressive moves to remove it from Maduro's control.
The producers' alliance, known as OPEC+, began cutting production from last month to avert a new supply glut.
U.S. President Donald Trump said in his State of the Union address that a trade deal with China was possible.