U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $67.95 per barrel at 0044 GMT, up 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their last settlement.
Two major geopolitical events have been affecting the volatility of oil prices: US President Donald Trump is sticking to his pledge to cut off Iran from the rest of the world with economic sanctions, squeezing the country's energy trade.
Distillate fuels stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.3 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 207,000-barrel gain, the API data showed.
Oil is poised for its first weekly gain in two months as shrinking USA crude inventories, a strike in the North Sea oil and gas fields and looming sanctions on Iran point to tighter supplies.
Around one hour after the report was released, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) October delivery traded at 67.40 USA dollars at New York Mercantile Exchange, up 1.56 dollars or 2.37 percent from its Tuesday settlement.
The US directive came after withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal in May and reimposing sanctions on Iranian oil exports.
The challenge now is that there are reports that the U.S. crude oil inventories have fallen in the last one week.
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Global markets were weaker as the ongoing trade spat between the United States and China was seen as a drag on economic growth.
Oil prices rose 3%, with Brent crude futures hitting a three-week high.
Iran is the third-biggest producer within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), exporting on average around 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude and condensate this year, equivalent to around 2.5 percent of global consumption.
Both oil benchmarks saw low liquidity during early trading on Friday.
Oil markets were steady on Friday as the unresolved trade dispute between Washington and Beijing muted activity.
"With oil export sanctions now three months out, we expect exports to fall by more than 500,000 bpd by the end of 3Q", Jefferies said.
According to a report by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Saudi Arabia is looking at capping upper limits on prices to allay customer concerns and is also putting a floor to ensure revenues stay high.