Meanwhile, imports are set to drop further as the U.S. slapped sanctions on Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA. Brent was up more than one percent and trading at $64.40 a barrel as of 10:49am GMT.
Crude prices tumbled more than 3% early in the day after Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak poured cold water over Saudi Arabia's hopes, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, to lure Moscow and the group of 10 non-OPEC oil producers it leads into a formal pact with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to better manage oil prices. Gasoline inventories also unexpectedly dipped by 2.2 million barrels in their the first decline since mid November as refining activity slowed by 2.8 percentage points to 90.1% capacity utilization rate.
"The price has yet to react in any noticeable way", he said.
The oil price came under pressure earlier in the day following weekly data from the US Energy Information Administration on Wednesday that showed an unwelcome increase in stocks of crude oil.
"The weekly report from the EIA on USA oil stocks was bullish for outright prices, plain and simple", said Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd.in London. Elsewhere, supplies from OPEC face heightened uncertainty after Libya's eastern leader Khalifa Haftar said his forces have taken control of the country's largest oil field.
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 Bloomberg Dollar Spot index has risen 1 percent this month, capping gains in crude and other commodities priced in the currency.
Saudi Arabia's exports to the United States finished 2018 at just 530,000 barrels per day, a massive drop from the 940,000 overage over the last five years.
The U.S. has struck the "right balance" to meet U.S. market needs and all options and "are on the table" going forward, Mnuchin told reporters outside the White House.
Global economic worries have weighed on market sentiment in recent days, offsetting support from signs that global supplies are tightening. Oil prices fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion almost stalled in January.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead a delegation to Beijing next week to lay the groundwork for a meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping later this month.
Trump has vowed to increase US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent now if the two sides can not reach a deal by March 1.