Pressuring prices are renewed concerns over rising US crude inventories and record production levels.
Oil fell below $62 a barrel on Wednesday after a report showed a rise in US crude inventories, while concerns about the impact on global supplies of USA sanctions on Venezuela faded.
"Distillate demand increased sharply last week due to the extreme cold weather, which contributed to the declining distillate stocks", said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.
Weighing on oil markets, US government data showed new orders for USA -made goods unexpectedly fell in November, with sharp declines in demand for machinery and electrical equipment.
Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, summarized the situation by remarking, "I think the oil market is trying to decide whether the factory orders will weigh on the price or the Venezuela and oil sanctions will support the price; as a result, we've seen the market fluctuating".
Technically, the crude oil price remains within the rising channel in place on the chart throughout this year so far and its climb could well extend towards the channel resistance line, now around $56.30.
A report published by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) last week showed that the country's oil production averaged a record 11.9 million barrels a day in November, up 345,000 from October and up almost 1.8 million compared with November 2017's average figures.
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Brent for April settlement dropped 19 cents to $62.50 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after adding 71 cents on Wednesday.
"Because the number was a little disappointing, it played into the slowing demand scenario", said Phil Flynn, oil analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Crude futures earlier posted around two-month highs. WTI settled 2.73 percent higher in the last session at its highest close since November 19. Output from OPEC's 14 current members fell by 930,000 barrels a day to 31.02 million, according to a Bloomberg survey.
"The fact that US crude oil and gasoline stocks rose more sharply than expected, as reported by the API after close of trading yesterday, is weighing on prices", said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank.
Market participants are also watching for developments surrounding the U.S.
According to latest OPEC forecasts, global oil demand will grow by 1.29mn bpd in 2019, the lowest rate of growth since 2013. "China trade talks", said Gene McGillian, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
U.S. President Donald Trump said in his State of the Union address that a trade deal with China was possible.