Brent crude futures for April delivery were up $0.53 at $115.31 a barrel, after earlier topping $116.30.
US crude futures for April initially rose more than $1 to $103.57, before falling back to $102.92 a barrel.
Traders said that they were watching nervously for any intensifying problem in oil-rich Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia is the main risk in the region. It has all the spare capacity, and if there is unrest and production disruption then it means an explosion in oil prices. But I think the risk is an exaggeration,” said Christophe Barret, global oil analyst at Credit Agricole.
There was also some disappointment that a proposed Arab League peace plan for Libya appeared to be faltering. One of the uprising’s rebel leaders has rejected the idea.