Crude oil futures were modestly higher at midday Friday, while refined product contracts were mixed.

Both West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude futures had recovered from some early declines as midday approached. The front-month crude contracts were posting smaller gains than the forward months, widening the market contango through the first quarter.

Crude contracts, which traded Thursday in a wide range due to voluntary production cuts by OPEC+ members, appeared to be taking a bit of a breather Friday morning.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange Thursday volume data showed trading in WTI futures was one of the more active days so far this year.

The NYMEX January WTI contract recovered from early declines, though the morning low of $75.27 a barrel was above Thursday's intraday low. The contract has also made a run toward $77 before easing a bit. January WTI was up by 18 cents to $76.14/bbl shortly after noon ET. The February Brent contract followed a similar pattern, 27 cents higher at $81.13/bbl.

Refined product futures moved to a January prompt month on Friday and gasoline contracts traded higher through much of the morning. The NYMEX January RBOB contract was up 1.23 cents to $2.1881 a gallon just ahead of midday. The contract fell to a morning low of $2.1546/gal, more than 5 cents above the mid-November low of $2.09/gal.

In U.S. spot markets, gasoline prices were mostly following futures higher, though a wider discount to futures in the U.S. Gulf Coast has offset support from the NYMEX. Spot Los Angeles CARBOB also weakened by about 3 cents/gal as its premium to futures narrowed.

The NYMEX January ULSD contract, which was off more than 5 cents/gal early, was down just 0.63ct to $2.7479/gal near midday. Cash ULSD markets were largely following futures.

This content was created by Oil Price Information Service, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. OPIS is run independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.

--Reporting by Denton Cinquegrana,; Editing by Jeff Barber,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-01-23 1311ET