Oil prices fell on Thursday as concern over the global economy reasserted itself, reversing earlier gains on the potential for U.S. sanctions on Venezuela.
Brent crude futures were down 46 cents at $60.68 a barrel around 8:30 a.m. ET (13:30 GMT), while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures fell 26 cents to $52.36.
An unexpected rise in U.S. crude inventories reported the day before eclipsed possible U.S. sanctions on the Venezuelan oil sector.
The American Petroleum Institute said on Wednesday U.S. crude inventories rose by 6.6 million barrels in the latest week, versus expectations for a fall of 42,000 barrels. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports official figures later on Thursday.