Oil markets appear to have stabilised in recent days, thanks to a boost in output from Saudi Arabia and other crude producers.
US crude futures fell on Friday, following gains the previous two days, after data from China showed lower-than-expected quarterly economic growth.
Assuming these trends continue, it could ease pressure on world oil prices and provide a boost to the US and other economies in the coming months.
On Thursday, a report from the International Energy Agency found that global oil supplies have become less constrained in the past few weeks, even as US and EU sanctions on Iran are pushing that country's crude off the market.
A report from the US Department od Energy released Tuesday came to a similar conclusion: oil markets are loosening, even though sanctions are expected to cause a 15 per cent drop in Iranian production this year.
Iran and six world powers prepared for today's resumption of talks about Tehran's disputed nuclear programme, making oil traders cautious, although no major breakthroughs are expected at the meeting to be held in Istanbul.
To avoid the impact of the Western sanctions, Iran is concealing the destination of its oil sales by disabling tracking systems aboard its tanker fleet, making it difficult to assess how much crude Tehran is exporting.