Oil rose above $94 a barrel on Friday, rebounding from losses the previous session after a surprise build in weekly U.S. crude stocks.
By 7:40 a.m. EST, U.S. crude for December, which expires later on Friday, traded up 69 cents at $94.12 a barrel after dropping 66 cents the previous session.
Oil now stands about 5 percent below the record high of $98.62 a barrel achieved on November 7.
London Brent crude for January rose 71 cents at $90.94.
U.S. crude prices have hovered near the mid-$90 range for the past three weeks.
I think we will be treading water for a while. I don't see anything new, at least with fundamentals, that is going to give us a big push up, said Mike Wittner, global head of oil research at Societe Generale.
Prices clawed back some of their losses as traders scrutinized the details of the unexpected 2.8 million-barrel increase in U.S. crude inventories. Analysts had predicted a decline of 800,000 barrels.
A rebound in U.S. crude stocks, due in part to a one-off backlog of imports, was... less bearish than it appeared, said Fimat energy analyst Antoine Halff.
Some analysts said the prospect for tightening winter fuel conditions would keep prices supported.
Losses will be limited unless there is extra OPEC supply, said Gerard Rigby of Fuel First Consulting in Sydney.
OPEC will not discuss output levels at a heads of state meeting on November 17-18, but officials said it will be on the agenda at the group's next policy meeting on December 5 in Abu Dhabi.
Iran's oil minister said it was too early to say what action OPEC might take at next month's meeting.
Concerns high prices and economic problems in the United States might hit consumption growth helped halt oil's record rally, as the U.S. data showed a 0.7 percent dip in demand over the last four weeks, compared with a year ago.
OPEC on Thursday lowered its world oil demand growth forecast for the fourth quarter of this year partly due to the U.S economic problems, a downgrade that came just days after the International Energy Agency (IEA) slashed its demand outlook.
There are some concerns on the strength of oil demand growth going forward in this price environment, Wittner at Societe Generale said.
But for the time being, those concerns are being offset by the fact that it's mid-November and we haven't started the winter yet.
Oil prices have surged nearly 40 percent since mid-August, as worries about winter supplies, the weakening dollar and geopolitical tensions drew fresh speculative investment.
(Additional reporting by Felicia Loo in Singapore; Editing by James Jukwey)