Oil prices rose about two per cent amid growing fears that it could take weeks to remove a giant container ship blocking the Suez Canal, which would hold up supplies of crude and refined products.
Prices, however, were still headed for a third weekly loss, with the outlook for demand hit by new coronavirus lockdowns in Europe.
Brent crude was up by $1.09, or 1.8 per cent, at $63.04 a barrel by 0750 GMT, after dropping 3.8 per cent on Thursday.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up $1.22, or 2.1 per cent, at $59.78 a barrel, having fallen 4.3 per cent a day earlier.
Both benchmarks were on track for a small weekly loss, following a more than six per cent decline last week.
The stranded Ever Given mega-container ship is blocking traffic in the Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest shipping channels for oil and refined fuels, grain and other trade between Asia and Europe.
Officials have stopped all ships entering the canals, and a salvage company said the vessel may take weeks to be freed.
According to shipping data, the blockage is holding up an estimated $9.6bn (£7bn, €8bn) of goods each day, which works out at $400m an hour in trade.
Data from shipping expert Lloyd's List values the canal's westbound traffic at roughly $5.1bn a day, and eastbound daily traffic at around $4.5bn.
Of the 39.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of total seaborne trade in crude in 2020, 1.74 million bpd went through the Suez Canal, according to tanker tracking firm Kpler.
Additionally, 1.54 million bpd of refined oil products such as gasoline and diesel fuel flow through the canal, about nine per cent of global seaborne product trade, Kpler said.
The Ever Given, operated by the Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine, is the length of four football pitches and one of the world's biggest container vessels. The 200,000-tonne ship is capable of carrying 20,000 containers.
Additionally, the oil markets were also hit by worries over escalating geopolitical risk in the Middle East. Yemen’s Houthi forces said that they launched attacks a day earlier on Saudi Arabia, targeting facilities owned by state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco and military sites.