U.S. exports recently set a weekly record with nearly 2 million barrels of crude a day sent overseas. But shipments to India have been rare, with just a few deliveries since the U.S. lifted its ban on crude exports in late 2015.
IOC bought 1 million barrels each of U.S. Southern Green Canyon (SGC) and WTI Midland crude likely from a Chinese trader, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The purchase was in addition to 2 million barrels of Basra Light crude to be delivered in the same month.
Crude oil prices are still capped below the key $50-per-barrel mark on concerns about high production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) despite its pledge to cut output along with non-OPEC producers.
Brent crude was yet to trade. On Thursday, it settled down 92 cents, or 1.7 percent, at USD52.19 a barrel, after slumping 5 percent the day before in its biggest percentage decline in a year.
The euro meanwhile rallied briefly against the dollar as the ECB said it no longer saw a deflation threat and would end some of its massive support for the eurozone economy.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed 33 cents, or 0.66 percent, to USD 50.61 a barrel at 0032 GMT, after plummeting 5.38 percent to USD 50.28 per barrel in the previous session, hitting the lowest level since December.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 32 cents, or 0.6 percent, to USD 52.82 a barrel as of 0107 GMT, after ending the previous session down 0.1 percent.
US West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 4 cents to USD53.16 a barrel as of 0042 GMT after settling down 13 cents in the previous session.
Brent crude futures dropped 20 cents, or 0.4 percent, to USD 55.70 a barrel as of 0459 GMT after settling 1.5 percent higher in the previous session.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures gained 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, to USD52.71 a barrel by 0039 GMT after dropping to its lowest since Feb. 9 in the last session. The benchmark Brent crude futures were yet to start trading after falling 2.3 percent on Thursday.
Crude stockpiles in the United States, the world's top oil consumer, rose by 1.5 million barrels last week, less than forecast, but touching a record at 520.2 million barrels after eight straight weekly builds.
Investors in the oil market are awaiting weekly inventories data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration due at 1530 GMT on Wednesday.
Brent crude oil climbed 0.2 percent to USD 56.09 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate added 0.1 percent to USD 54.04 a barrel.
U.S. crude stocks rose by 564,000 barrels in the week to Feb. 17, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), although the gain was below analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.5 million barrels.
The US West Texas Intermediate April crude contract, the new front-month future, was up 18 cents at USD 54.51 a barrel at 0228 GMT. On Tuesday, the March contract expired up 66 cents, or 1.2 percent, at USD 54.06, after peaking at USD 54.68, the highest since January 3.
US West Texas Intermediate crude was up 31 cents, or 0.6 percent, at USd 53.71 a barrel at 0218 GMT, after rising about 0.5 percent in a shortened session on Monday due to a US national holiday.
Brent futures were down 5 cents at USD 55.75 a barrel at 0245 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude was unchanged at USD 53.40. Both contracts earlier rose slightly in quiet trading.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers including Russia have agreed 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.
Brent crude futures were trading at USD56.55 per barrel at 0035 GMT, down 15 cents from their previous close.
Brent crude futures , the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading at 54.53 per barrel at 0111 GMT, down 52 cents, or 0.94 percent, from their previous close.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading at USD55.96 per barrel at 0151 GMT, up 24 cents from the last close.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have risen since a recent Iranian ballistic missile test which prompted US President Donald Trump's administration to impose sanctions on individuals and entities linked to the Revolutionary Guards.
Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading at USD 55.48 per barrel at 0140 GMT, down 10 cents from their last close.
The U.S. weekly oil and gas rig count from Baker Hughes showed that U.S. drillers added 15 oil rigs in the week, the 12th gain in 13 weeks. That brought the total count to 566, the most since November 2015.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices were stable on Friday, with rising crude output from the United States offsetting efforts by OPEC and other producers to prop up the market by cutting supplies.