Strategists say further gains in U.S. crude futures may be limited as refineries take plants down for maintenance.
"We expect the upward momentum in WTI to slow down if it crosses the $101 a barrel level again, partly from the weight of softening U.S. Gulf Coast balances," Barclays analysts said. "Refinery maintenance in the Gulf Coast is expected to peak at the start of March, and runs have already started to slow down."
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Oil also found support from Chinese data showing banks disbursed the highest volume of loans in any month in four years in January, a surge that suggests the world's No.2 economy may not be cooling as much as some fear.
Supply disruption fears continued to keep a floor under prices. Libya's oil production has dropped to 390,000 barrels per day (bpd) as protests have partly blocked flows from the El Sharara oilfield, the state National Oil Corp said.
Protesters led by a former anti-Gaddafi rebel have seized three oil ports in eastern Libya since August, cutting off around 600,000 bpd of export capacity, to demand more regional autonomy and a greater share of oil wealth.