The West Texas Intermediate for March delivery climbed 51 U.S. cents to settle at 53.13 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for March delivery declined 5 cents to close at 61.09 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
Traders paid a close eye on U.S. threat of sanctions on Venezuela, which would lead to a tighter market.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the United States had recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation's "interim president," a move that came after Nicolas Maduro was inaugurated as president of the Latin American country earlier this month.
Trump added that the United States would continue to use economic and diplomatic power to press for "the restoration of Venezuelan democracy."
However, the market gains were capped as the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Thursday that the nation's crude oil inventories jumped 8 million barrels in the week ending Jan. 18.
At 445 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories were about 9 percent above the five-year average for this time of year, according to the Weekly Petroleum Status Report by the EIA.