Turkey has been carrying out intense political negotiations with US officials as Ankara tries to convince Washington to allow its oil refiner Tupras to continue importing from Tehran. Brent crude oil futures were at $70.31 per barrel, 43 cents, or 0.6 percent, above their last close.
On U.S. -China trade front, accusing China of backtracking on commitments in trade talks, the U.S. has threatened to further increase U.S. trade tariffs on Chinese goods.
Markets now await the weekly inventory reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Energy Information Administration.
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said that Saudi Arabia was increasing its oil production to meet needs arising from sanctions on Iran.
The Trump administration is poised to tell five countries, including allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey, they will no more be exempt from US sanctions should they continue to import oil from Iran, officials said Sunday.
EIA also forecast that crude oil production in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will average 30.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2019 and 29.8 million b/d in 2020, compared with an average of 32 million b/d in 2018.
Iran has been one of India's top-suppliers of crude oil over the years. Chinese vice premier Liu was set to arrive in Washington Wednesday with a delegation of about 100 people for what had been shaping up to be possibly the final round of talks.
Prices rose on the data, with US crude futures up 53 cents to $61.93 per barrel as of 10:53 a.m. EDT.
Oil futures gained 1% on Wednesday, boosted by a surprise drawdown in USA crude stockpiles, but an escalating U.S.
Oil prices steadied on Wednesday as concerns about a deepening trade spat between the United States and China offset record Chinese imports and tighter global supplies.
According to the official, more than 130 million barrels of oil were exported from Iran's offshore fields in the fiscal year that ended March 20.
India was allowed to buy an average 300,000 bpd of oil during November-April, but actual volumes varied from month to month due to lack of ships after foreign shipping lines backed out of Iranian deals under pressure from USA sanctions.