U.S. President Donald Trump has until May 12 to decide whether to restore the sanctions on Iran that were lifted after an agreement over its disputed nuclear programme. The dollar acted as a further headwind, rising 0.4 percent. French President Emmanuel Macron's prediction that the United States will pull out of the nuclear deal has boosted speculation over reduced shipments from the Islamic Republic.
However, "the increased drilling activity in the USA should not pose any excessive obstacle to oil prices.especially as there are no signs of any solution to the dispute over the nuclear deal with Iran", analysts at Commerzbank said in a morning note.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were last down 9 cents on the day at $68.01 a barrel, having recovered from an intraday low of $67.17.
Still, crude prices were within striking distance of a more than three-year high hit in late April, and analysts said the market is sensitive to any developments on Iranian sanctions. Total volume traded was about 17% below the 100-day average.
Brent crude futures were down 88 cents at $74.76 a barrel by 1108 GMT.
Iran's Khamenei says United States provokes Saudi Arabia to deepen regional crisis
Khamenei said the United States seeks to make these states undertake the costs of confrontations with Iran. In exchange, Iran received relief from sanctions, most of which were lifted in January 2016.
OPEC and its partners agreed to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels per day since January past year, an effort which has recorded a 149 percent success, and has boosted prices to $74 per barrel as at Thursday.
Brent has risen by around 6.5 percent this month.
Buyers were pressing for lower levels in part because of good availability of crude in Europe and the US and a wide gap between Brent and the US WTI benchmarks.
Brent crude, the global benchmark traded in London, closed at a level not see since late 2014.
US drillers added five oil rigs in the week to April 27, bringing the total count to 825, the highest level since March 2015, General Electric's Baker Hughes energy services firm said. The more-active July contract traded at US$73.16.
Australia wait for India over day-night Test
Perth Stadium will host a Test match for the first time when it hosts the second Test against India from December 14 to 18. The Tests against India will be followed by three One-day Internationals (ODI) from January 12 to 18.
A rise in United States government borrowing costs to their highest since 2013 this week has tempered some investor appetite for risk, but analysts said they believed Brent crude may have another attempt at marking new 2018 highs above $75 a barrel.
USA drillers added five oil rigs in the week to April 27, bringing the total count to 825, the highest level since March 2015, General Electric's Baker Hughes energy services firm said.
Looking at US crude oil stocks, the most recent EIA figures (April 18) showed falling crude oil stocks and falling gasoline inventories.
But while US producers are accelerating shale drilling in areas in the United States, higher production has not necessarily translated into stronger refining results for some oil companies.
US drillers added five oil rigs in the week to April 27, bringing the total count to 825, the highest since March 2015, General Electric's Baker Hughes energy services firm said.
US President Trump sued for defamation by adult film star Stormy Daniels
Daniels and her lawyer require consideration of their case by a jury, and compensation of the caused damage to the actress. The sketch depicted a man Ms Daniels described as having threatened her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011.