UPDATE 7-U.S. oil lower, market awaits storage data
* U.S. crude, gasoline stocks, refinery runs dropping - poll
* Violence in Egypt keeps political risks on agenda
* Coming Up: U.S. API weekly crude stocks; 2030 GMT
(Rewrites lead to focus on U.S. crude market, changes byline and dateline.)
NEW YORK, July 16 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil prices were marginally lower on Tuesday as traders awaited government and industry data that should show a draw in crude oil supplies for the third consecutive week.
Front-month U.S. crude oil futures were consolidating just below the 15-month high of $107.45 made on Thursday, analysts said.
U.S. commercial crude stocks probably fell 2 million barrels on average during the week that ended July 12, a Reuters poll of eight analysts showed. Private forecaster the American Petroleum Institute will release its storage data at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT).
"The market's keeping an eye on the report," said Gene McGillian, an analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. "Further gains in the rally are predicated on an improving fundamental outlook."
Oil demand has been strong. U.S. government data last week showed net crude oil inputs to refiners were the highest since July 2007. U.S. crude inventories plunged 20 million barrels over the previous two weeks, the deepest two-week draw on record.
U.S. crude oil futures were trading 23 cents lower at $106.09 at 12:35 p.m. EDT (1635 GMT).
Gasoline futures hit a four-month high. They were last trading at $3.14 a gallon.
The market was also awaiting Wednesday's testimony by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Some investors think that the U.S. central bank will reduce its bond buying this year and scrap it by mid-2014.
Tensions in Egypt were supporting Brent crude oil prices, which hit a new 3 1/2-month high, though there was scant evidence that any oil supply in the region was expected to be disrupted, analysts said.
Seven people were killed and more than 260 wounded when supporters of Mohamed Mursi clashed with the deposed Egyptian president's opponents and security forces through the night.
Brent crude oil futures were last trading 5 cents higher at $109.14 a barrel in choppy trading. Brent oil, the European benchmark, has risen 7.2 percent so far this month and is on track for its biggest monthly gain since August.
The August Brent contract expires at the end of trading on Tuesday and volume was thin. Brent September oil futures were last trading 14 cents higher at $108.22.
BRENT/WTI SPREAD, DEMAND OUTLOOK
While U.S. oil supplies have risen from shale plays in North Dakota and Texas, some market watchers are questioning whether Houston refineries can continue to process the type of light oil those shales produce.
As pipelines get built and come online, more supplies of that kind of crude have made their way to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, narrowing the spread between Brent, the global benchmark, and the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate.
The theory is that refiners have been reaching for domestic supplies in lieu of imports. But a slight widening in the spread may indicate that refiners are turning to Brent crude imports, keeping a premium on imports, some brokers said.
The spread <CL-LCO1=R> was last trading at $3.16, after Brent's premium to WTI traded as high as $1.32 on Thursday, the most since November 2010.
Global demand has picked up analysts said, noting that production disruptions in Libya and Nigeria were tightening supply.
Mixed economic data still weighed on market sentiment.
German analyst and investor sentiment unexpectedly fell in July after negative data for Europe's largest economy, a survey showed on Tuesday.
On Monday, data showed that China's annual GDP growth slowed to 7.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013 but implied oil demand in the world's second-largest oil consumer rebounded in June to the highest in four months.
(Additional reporting by Simon Falush and Ron Buosso in London and Manash Goswami in Singapore; editing by Anthony Barker, James Jukwey and Bob Burgdorfer)