Crude prices have notched three straight weeks of gains to recover from the slump in March, when prices fell to a four-month low of $47.01, on the back of concerns that a ramp up in US oil production would dampen OPEC's efforts to drain the glut in supply. At 0047 GMT, Brent Crude futures slipped 18 cents at 55.71. On Thursday, before major markets closed for the holiday break, they settled up 3 United States cents at US$55.89 a barrel.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures likewise retreated 47 cents at $52.71 per barrel.
Both benchmarks had risen last week for a third consecutive week, with Brent adding 1.2 percent over the four days before the Good Friday holiday and WTI up 1.8 per cent.
USA crude oil inventories remain near record-levels, but trended lower for the third-consecutive week; declining 2.2 million barrels from the week before.
Trading was subdued to start the week with major market centre London still closed for the Easter holidays on Monday. The group and 11 other non-OPEC oil producers have agreed to cut production for the first part of the year.
Gas prices seemed to find level ground over the weekend after increasing for more than two weeks, the auto club AAA said this week.
Crude prices fell in Asia as tensions on the Korean peninsula weighed and despite better than expected GDP growth in China, the world's second largest oil importer, on an annual basis.
Markets were bracing for furtther geo-political friction over North Korea, after the hermit nation's attempted testing of a ballistic missile exploded immediately after liftoff.
USA drillers last week added rigs for a 13th straight week. "If all producers continue complying with the output cut, Iran would also do the same".
U.S. crude oil production has climbed to 9.24 million barrels per day, according to the latest Energy Information Administration data, making it the world's third-largest producer after Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia. The pullback in CVX stock comes amid fresh concerns about the supply-demand balance in the global energy market as inventories swell, USA shale producers ramp up output and OPEC members look set to cheat on their production freeze agreement.
The anonymous sources said that Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kuwait would support an extension of the cartel's existing 1.2-million-barrel per day production cut during the summit in Vienna next month.