U.S. crude oil surged on Tuesday ahead of weekly inventory reports that were expected to show gasoline stocks fell, while Brent gained as fresh unrest in eastern Ukraine heightened tensions between Russia and the West again.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Russian agents were behind separatist unrest in eastern Ukraine and accused Moscow of preparing for military action there. The statements sparked a verbal backlash from Russia, the world's biggest oil producer.
Investors worry that any deep diplomatic rift between Moscow and the West could lead to further economic sanctions. However, Brent prices were capped by hopes that Libya would soon resume oil exports after the government reached agreements with rebel groups.