Oil futures closed lower on Wednesday as renewed fighting in Yemen pushed Brent higher while U.S. crude prices seesawed after a second straight week of production declines despite higher inventories.
U.K. North Sea Brent, the more globally-used benchmark for crude, rose more than 1 percent as warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition bombed Yemen a day after Riyadh said it was ending airstrikes against Iranian-allied Houthi rebels there.
In New York, U.S. crude futures reeled between negative and positive territory as players weighed government data that showed production declines versus higher stockpiles.
Oil rallied hard and fast in the first two weeks of April on worries about fallout from the fighting in Yemen, which sits beside shipping lanes for Middle East crude. Signs that U.S. oil production may be coming off after months of increases added to gains.
But with global demand for oil still lagging output, the run-up has fizzled this week, although Brent remains up 14 percent on the month. U.S. crude has risen more, gaining 18 percent since the end of March.