By Libby George
Brent crude futures were trading at $55.57 per barrel at 0945 GMT, 8 cents below their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 4 cents at $53.32 per barrel.
Both appeared on track for losses on the week, though prices had moved higher earlier in the session in response to news that producer group OPEC could extend an output cut aimed at reining in a global supply overhang.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers, including Russia, plan to cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of 2017, and estimates suggest compliance by OPEC is around 90 percent.
The cuts are aimed at curbing oversupply that has dogged markets since 2014.
But inventories and supplies remain high, especially in the United States.
"You've got bullishness from the OPEC cuts, but the bearishness of the inventory report," Hamza Khan, head of commodities strategy at ING, said. "The question is, which of these is going to give first?"
Brent and WTI have traded within a $5 per barrel price range this year, in what has become the longest and most range-bound period since a price slump began in mid-2014.
In the United States, rising output has helped push up crude and fuel stocks to record highs.
And there are also signs of faltering demand growth in core markets, China and India.
In India, fuel demand growth fell in January, while in China sagging car sales and soaring gasoline and diesel exports also point to a slowdown in growth.
Despite the supply glut, analysts expect oil markets to tighten in the longer term.
"If oil prices stay around $60 per barrel and GDP growth over 3 percent per annum, then oil demand growth will be stronger over the next 5 years, than the previous decade. What we are witnessing is a rather surprising renaissance of oil consumption," it said.
(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein; in Singapore. Editing by Jane Merriman)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)