The Energy Information Administration reported a less-than-expected inventory gain Thursday, with stockpiles up 990,000 barrels to 351.2 million during the week. Traders had been been expecting an increase of 1.15 million barrels.
In China, a key business index showed manufacturing in contraction in January.
Traders also contemplated a deep chill across the United States and a two-day retreat on Wall Street. On Friday, the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average dropped 318 points, the largest one-day fall in seven months.
Light, sweet West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange shed 41 cents to $96.91 per barrel.
Gasoline added 0.5 cents to $2.6668 a gallon.
Home heating oil gained 9.25 cents to $3.169 a gallon.
Natural gas gained 44 cents to $5.17 per million British thermal units.
The national average price of unleaded regular gasoline rose to $3.288 per gallon from Thursday's $3.287, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.