Brent crude futures climbed back into positive territory in late trading on Wednesday, snapping five days of losses after approval of a bailout payment to Greece eased worries about euro zone debt.
Oversold conditions in recent days after an extended drop in prices sent crude futures down as much as 8.6 percent since May 2 also attracted bargain hunters, analysts said.
Trading was choppy all day with oil finding balancing news of a North Sea oilfield shutdown, a U.S. refinery snag and a drop in U.S. refined product inventories against concerns about a potential Greek debt deal.
The stock market pared losses and Brent crude turned positive after euro zone governments agreed to authorize a payment of 5.2 billion euros from the region's bailout fund, despite opposition from some member states following inconclusive Greek election results.
The crisis has stirred concern about fuel demand in developed economies, and a string of poor economic data from Europe and the United States have added to worries.
ICE June Brent crude settled in London at $113.20 a barrel, rising 47 cents, after falling to a session low of $111.31 early.
"Brent keeps stalling and finding resistance trying to get back to its 200-day moving average and U.S. crude is running into support and can't make a decisive move below its 200-day average," said Stephen Schork, president of the Schork Group in Villanova, Pennsylvania.
U.S. June crude dipped 20 cents to close at $96.81, falling for the sixth straight session. Losses were limited as it found support at the 200-day moving average of $96.29.
In six sessions, front-month U.S. crude has fallen $9.25 or 8.8 percent, its biggest six-day loss since Sept. 23 last year
Trading volumes were modestly higher, rising 13 percent above the 30-day averages, with Brent crude trading picking up speed late in the day, according to Reuters data.
As Brent crude rose, its premium against U.S. crude widened further, closing at $16.39, from $15.72 on Tuesday. <CL-LCO1=R> The premium has been on the rise for five straight days.
Oil has fallen sharply in recent weeks. It had risen to 2012 highs above $128 a barrel in early March due to a string of production outages across the globe and concerns about a potential large scale disruption of Iranian exports due to Western sanctions.
"Crude futures have sold off so strongly in recent days and the oversold conditions are inducing some people to buy in," said Matt Smith, analyst at Summit Energy in Louisville, Kentucky.