"Better-than-expected US economic data are providing the WTI price with upward momentum and so is the sharp reduction of U.S. crude oil stocks in past weeks," said a report from analysts at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. "It cannot be ruled out that for the first time in three years WTI could become more expensive than Brent again in the near future. That said, we do not believe this situation will last, given the fact that US oil production is still rising and stocks are still high in the US."
Although they remain near historical highs, U.S. stockpiles of crude oil have been reduced by 27.1 million barrels over the past three weeks, according to the Energy Department.
In London, Brent crude was up 33 cents to $109.03 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline added 3.13 cents to $3.0762 a gallon.
— Heating oil rose 1.28 cents to $3.1131 a gallon.
— Natural gas fell 3.2 cents to $3.78 per 1,000 cubic feet.