Front-month Brent crude futures were up around 66 cents, or 0.67%, at $98.68 a barrel by 1222 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 84 cents, or 0.86 % to $95.86 a barrel.
Both contracts closed lower on Wednesday on an unexpected build in U.S. crude inventories and signs of progress in Russia-Ukraine peace talks. U.S. crude fell 1.08% to $95.04 a barrel, while Brent fell 1.9% to $98.02 a barrel.
However, futures opened higher after markets digested a report from the International Energy Agency that said Russia could shut about 3 million barrels a day of oil production due to Western sanctions and buyers snubbing Russian exports. Demand is expected to fall by more than 1 million bpd due to higher prices.
“Uncertainty about how much Russian oil will continue to fluctuate and how severe the crude demand disruption will be will rattle the energy market,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, wrote in a note.
U.S. oil inventories rose by 4.3 million barrels to 415.9 million barrels in the week ended March 11, beating analysts’ expectations for a 1.4 million-barrel drop, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
As expected, the oil market largely ignored the Federal Reserve’s move to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday.