Oil rose to a new high for the year, above $51 per barrel.
Oil prices continued their climb on Tuesday, hitting eight-month highs, as expectations of U.S. crude draws underpinned a market already worried about potential supply shortages from attacks on Nigeria's oil industry. U.S. crude stockpiles likely fell by 3.5 million barrels last week to mark a third straight week of declines, a preliminary Reuters poll showed.Trade group American Petroleum Institute is expected to cite a drawdown as well in its inventory report due at 4:30 p.m. (2030 GMT), before official stockpiles data slated for Wednesday from the U.S. government.
Crude oil rallied in the past two sessions after rebels in Nigeria's Niger Delta vowed to halt output in the country, which until last year was Africa's biggest producer turning out about 2 million barrels per day (bpd). The Nigerian government said on Tuesday it was initiating talks with the rebels.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up 55 cents at $51.10 a barrel by 12:20 p.m. EDT (1620 GMT), after rising to $51.30 earlier, their highest since October. U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 gained 40 cents to $50.09, having touched a fresh 2016 peak of $50.37 earlier. Both Brent and WTI have almost doubled in value since winter, when they hit their lowest since 2003.