U.S. crude futures fell on Tuesday ahead of data expected to show that inventories in the world's top oil consuming nation are close to exceeding record-highs.
Brent also fell but was cushioned by continued geopolitical concerns of an escalation of the standoff in Eastern Ukraine. Sanctions against Russia could stymie supplies from one of the world's biggest producers.
The sell-off increased the discount of the U.S. benchmark to its international counterpart by more than $6. Brent crude was down nearly $1, clawing back above $109 a barrel after reaching a six-week high of $110.36 last week. U.S. crude plunged by $2.24 to settle at $102.13 a barrel, its largest one day drop since January 2.
Analysts said in the absence of a major escalation in Eastern Ukraine, where separatists still hold government buildings in defiance of a peace accord struck last week, attention instead has turned to U.S. crude oil inventories.