Oil prices erased earlier losses on Thursday as Middle East tensions and Saudi comments about ending a global supply glut offset an unexpected increase in U.S. crude inventories and high U.S. production and exports.
Brent crude rose 85 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $59.29 a barrel by 2:28 p.m. ET (1828 GMT). The global benchmark is not far below its 26-month high of $59.49 hit in late September.
U.S. light crude ended Thursday's session 46 cents higher at $52.64, striking a new six-month closing high.
Saudi Arabia's energy minister earlier this week reiterated the kingdom's determination to end a global supply glut that has weighed on prices for more than three years. The Saudis have spearheaded an agreement among OPEC and other oil exporters to keep 1.8 million barrels a day off the market.
The deal runs through March, and OPEC could agree to extend the accord through the end of 2018 at its Nov. 30 meeting.