Oil prices ticked higher on Thursday, erasing earlier losses after the operator of Britain's Forties pipeline in the North Sea said it was expected to restart in early January after repairs over Christmas.
Forties is the largest of the five North Sea crudes that underpin Brent, a benchmark for oil trading in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
"Main feature in today's trade thus far appears to be the ability of the complex to absorb in orderly fashion reports that the North Sea Forties pipeline system will be restarted," Jim Ritterbusch, president of Chicago-based energy advisory firm Ritterbusch & Associates, said in a report.
Brent crude prices were up 35 cents at $64.91 per barrel at 2:29 p.m. ET. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures ended Thursday's session at $58.36 a barrel, up 27 cents at a nearly three-week high.
Both benchmarks were trading at their highest since Dec. 12 after rising most days since the start of the Forties shutdown.