WTI settles up 3.53% at $53.98 a barrel

U.S. oil futures closed up $1.84 at $53.98 on Tuesday, above earlier highs and erasing losses on strong jobs data and U.S. government forecasts for lower domestic crude production growth and higher global demand for oil.

An Energy Information Administration (EIA) monthly report raised forecasts for U.S. and global demand growth and lowered forecasts for crude oil production growth in the United States.

Brent crude oil was last up 88 cents at $59 a barrel, just shy of its session peak of $59.27.

Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali al-Naimi said that the kingdom remains ready to help stabilize the market and improve prices in a ``reasonable and suitable manner'' with the help of other producers.

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Separately, U.S. job openings surged to a 14-year high in February the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), lifting oil prices.

"That JOLTS report was certainly quite strong and strong employment equals strong gasoline demand," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital in New York.

Oil got more support from news that Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota made a case for waiting until the second half of 2016 to raise interest rates, and to then raise them gradually to just 2 percent by the end of 2017.

Also cited as supportive was news that an oil spill into the Mississippi River on Monday forced authorities to close part of the waterway in Louisiana.

Eight refineries along the river in the region account for about 12 percent of U.S. refining capacity, according to the EIA.

Crude futures fell earlier on signs of growing oversupply as Iranian officials visited China to seek more oil sales following the framework nuclear deal that could lead to lifting sanctions on Tehran.

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Prices also were pressured by a Goldman Sachs report saying prices needed to remain low for months to slow U.S. oil output growth.

The American Petroleum Institute's (API) weekly report on U.S. oil inventories is due Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2130 GMT), with the EIA's report following on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

U.S. commercial stocks were seen extending their record build for a 13th consecutive week, a Reuters survey on Monday showed.

On Monday, industry intelligence provider Genscape said its data showed stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, oil hub rose by the relatively small amount of 169,000 barrels last week.