Oil gushed higher on China's surprise rate cut but also as traders increased bets that OPEC will have no choice but to cut production when it meets on Thanksgiving Day.
China's central bank for the first time in more than two years, firing up a global risk rally that was also driven by the European Central Bank's easing program. Oil futures began rising Thursday on speculation about OPEC and promise to stay volatile into next week. Iran is also a factor for the market, as Monday's deadline for a deal on its nuclear program approaches.
West Texas Intermediate futures for January were up nearly 1 percent, holding above $76.50 per barrel, while futures rose above $80 per barrel, a jump of about 1.4 percent.
Read MoreOil near $80
OPEC has been publicly divided on the need for a production cut, just as Wall Street is fairly evenly divided on whether OPEC will act when it meets in Vienna on Thursday. Venezuela has said it is willing to cut production, while Libya and Ecuador also called for lower output.
"What Libya, Venezuela and Ecuador say isn't really a counterbalance to what the Saudis do," said Gene McGillian, analyst with Tradition Energy. Iran has also called for OPEC members to stabilize prices.