U.S. oil prices ended lower Monday, ahead of the first big snowstorm this year in the country's Northeast, while benchmark Brent crude fell after pledges of no policy change by the top oil exporter Saudi Arabia after King Abdullah's death.
An 11-year high in the U.S. dollar against other major currencies, and fears of fresh instability in the euro zone after a decisive Greek election victory by the Syriza party also limited any potential rebound in oil, traders said.
Light snow began falling on the U.S. East Coast on Monday morning, the first signs of a potentially historic blizzard that officials predicted could dump up to 3 feet of snow in the coming day, snarling transportation for millions of people.
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for New York City and surrounding areas between coastal New Jersey and Connecticut, beginning 1 p.m. EST on Monday and worsening overnight into Tuesday morning. It warned of two days of winter storms across the East Coast, from Pennsylvania to Maine.
"Crude is getting some help from supportive heating oil ahead of the blizzard, although with all the flight cancellations, it might end up being a bearish event on oil demand," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Chicago's Price Futures Group.