The energy commodity marked its first gains in three trading sessions as the Energy Information Administration, an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, prepared to release data about inventories on Wednesday.
Regarding the inventory report, there is a particular focus on distillates supplies, one strategist told the news source.
"People are watching distillate inventories," senior market strategist Bill Baruch with iitrader.com in Chicago told the news source on Tuesday. "That's definitely going to be the major focus. The equity market is coming off the lows and that's helping crude move higher."
At 9:27 a.m. on Tuesday, WTI crude oil futures rose 0.96 percent, a 93-cent lift to $97.36 per barrel. Brent crude oil futures edged down 0.03 percent, a 3-cent dip to $106.01 per barrel.
Supplies of distillate fell by 2.5 million barrels last week, according to a survey administered by Bloomberg. That represents a reduction of 2.2 percent. Supplies of crude oil rose 2.55 million barrels to amount to 360.2 million. Gasoline supplies increased 1.15 million barrels to total 235.6 million.
Boston and New York are forecast to see snowstorms on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. That inclement weather will be augmented by rain and sleet on Wednesday, the forecast states.
"Weather related withdrawals of distillate are giving WTI some support," futures division director Bob Yawger with Mizuho Securities USA Inc. in New York told the news source on Tuesday. "We're seeing a bit of consolidation here."
Dynamics of oil ban under scrutiny
Reuters reports the U.S. is waiting on adjustments to a 40-year ban on exports of crude oil. The objective is to increase the amount of the energy commodity that can be shipped overseas.
The effort to relax 40 years of the export ban was propelled late last year by the U.S.' top-level oil official. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in December that the ban was old and corrective action should ensue.
But those resisting the relaxation of the ban said the price of gas will shoot up, which will make U.S. consumers none too pleased. During a midterm election year, the administration of President Obama is unlikely to implement efforts to address the matter.
"Trying to have the administration lift the ban wholesale at this point is like swimming against a strong current," partner Jacob Dweck with law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan told Reuters.
Premier chief tenders resignation
The Wall Street Journal reports the top official at Premier Oil is transitioning out.
Chief Executive Simon Lockett, after nine years in power, said he will step down once the exploration and production company taps the next chief. He has drawn wrath for the company's questionable acquisition of an interest in the Sea Lion project in the Falkland Islands.
"The market hasn't liked that deal – it will be another five years before we see first oil from there," analyst Nathan Piper with RBC Capital Markets told The Wall Street Journal.
The move demanded investment and diverted cash away from what otherwise might have been destined to shareholders. Share prices with Premier also have dropped as of late in the aftermath of the firm cutting forecasts for growth due to issues that are plaguing projects in the North Sea and in Vietnam.
But production has climbed 56 percent during his tenure, which makes the departure's timing more palpable.
"I believe now is an appropriate time for a change in leadership as the business moves into its next phase," he told the news source. "I am also looking forward to pursuing new business opportunities, but in the meantime will continue to devote all my energies to ensuring the continued success of Premier."
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