Brent held steady under US$119 a barrel on Monday, supported by the impact of sanctions on Iranian supply, while investors await key manufacturing data out of China for clues on the health of the world's number two oil consumer.
Iran's crude exports have slipped to 2.1m barrels per day (bpd), compared with an average of 2.3m bpd in the last Iranian year that ended on March 19, Iranian oil officials said according to a report published on Friday.
Brent crude slipped 2 cents to US$118.74 a barrel by 0151 GMT, while US crude was 12 cents lower at US$103.76.
"On the supply side, Iran continues to be a risk which we can't ignore at all," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at Australia-based CMC Markets.
"It seems quite unlikely that we will be seeing any swift resolution to the standoff between the West and Tehran over their nuclear program."
Tightening western sanctions on Iran over the Islamic Republic's disputed nuclear programme helped send Brent prices above US$128 a barrel in March, the highest since 2008.
The European Union is also planning an embargo on Iranian oil imports from July 1. While a review is possible in the next two months, there is no economic reason now to change plans for the ban, a senior EU official said on Friday.
At a Group of 20 finance ministers' meeting in the United States last week, officials issued a communique which outlined an agreement between the group and emerging nations to closely watch oil prices and carry out "additional actions" as needed and welcome the commitments by producing countries to ensure adequate supply.
Traders were also keeping a close eye on China's flash manufacturing PMI data from HSBC due out at 0230 GMT.
"Any indication which shows further deterioration to China's manufacturing could likely put pressure on oil prices," Spooner said.