Prices also dipped after data showed USA crude inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for US crude futures, rose by more than 943,000 barrels in the week to February 1, traders said, citing data from market intelligence firm Genscape. The sanctions aim to block U.S. refiners from paying into PDVSA accounts controlled by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
A report published by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) last week showed that the country's oil production averaged a record 11.9 million barrels a day in November, up 345,000 from October and up almost 1.8 million compared with November 2017's average figures.
A flotilla loaded with about seven million barrels of Venezuelan oil has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, some holding cargoes bought ahead of the latest US sanctions and others whose buyers are weighing whom to pay, according to traders, shippers and Refinitiv Eikon data.
Oil fell 1 percent on Wednesday after a report showed a rise in USA crude inventories, while concerns about the impact of us sanctions on Venezuela on global supplies eased.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, slipped 24 cents to $61.74 a barrel by 1442 GMT. US crude was down 48 cents at $53.18.
Despite hitting a 2-month high last week, crude oil prices have been chopping inside a tight range for several days as investors try to determine the key catalyst in the market at this time.
Morse predicted that moving forward "We have plenty of potentially bullish moves in the market" following a period of soft demand before the seasonal fuel consumption rise begins around May, with Brent rising into the mid-$60 range and hitting $70 before year end - which the researcher believes will encourage USA producers to allocate more money to drilling.
Venezuela's opposition is opening a US fund to receive the proceeds of oil sales, a key measure to secure revenue for its effort to dislodge President Nicolas Maduro, an opposition lawmaker said on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, oil supply from the OPEC fell in January by the largest amount in two years, a Reuters survey found.
The producers known as OPEC+ started cutting production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from last month to avert a new supply glut, and OPEC has delivered nearly three quarters of its pledged cuts already, a Reuters survey showed last week.
Venezuela, like fellow OPEC members Iran and Libya, was exempt from production curbs under the OPEC+ deal on expectations that its output faced involuntary downward pressure in 2019.
The global economic outlook and prospects for growth in fuel demand have been clouded by poor economic data in China and US-China trade tensions.
OPEC oil supply fell in January by the largest amount in two years despite sluggish production declines from Russian Federation, according to a Reuters survey. These concerns, in combination with uncertainty in the US-China trade negotiations keep weighing on traders' sentiment. Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are poised to start another round of talks next week.