During Asian trading hours, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures shed 7 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $34.88 a barrel, near a seven-year low. The internationally traded Brent was up 17 cents, or 0.46 percent, at $37.24 a barrel, after falling close to an 11-year low in overnight trade.
Angus Nicholson, market analyst at spreadbetter IG, said in a note that sustained uplifts in oil prices are unlikely until there are consistent declines in oil inventories.
"Crude storage has not yet reached capacity and with contango at such dramatic levels there is little incentive to sell into the spot market," he said, adding, "A wave of defaults and bankruptcies in the energy sector still looks likely to come, and these concerns are certainly weighing on markets."
Contango means the current price of a commodity is lower than prices for delivery in the future.
Spot gold rose 0.53 percent to $1,057 an ounce after losing as much as 2.4 percent overnight, hovering close to a six-year low.
Energy plays in Australia closed mixed, with stocks of Santos, Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search closing down between 0.22 and 1.31 percent.
Japan's Inpex and Japan Petroleum saw losses of 2.6 and 2.46 percent respectively by the market close. South Korean oil refineries ended mostly in the red. Shares of S-Oil, SK Innovation, and GS Holdings closed down between 1.17 and 2.59 percent.
Chinese energy plays CNOOC, PetroChina and Sinopec traded down between 0.64 and 2.5 percent.
Gold miners Newcrest, Evolution Mining and Alacer Gold saw heavy losses, falling 1.89 to 4.73 percent.