West Texas Intermediate crude closed higher on Tuesday after the White House said it does not support a move by the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal a 40-year-old ban on exports of crude oil.
"This is a policy decision that is made over at the Commerce Department, and for that reason, we wouldn't support legislation like the one that's been put forward by Republicans," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at a briefing.
U.S. oil, also referred to as WTI crude, closed up about 1.3 percent, at $44.59 a barrel. It rose more than $1 at the session high, hitting $45.03. Brent crude was up 40 cents at $47.80 a barrel on its October contract, which expires as front-month at Tuesday's settlement. October Brent lost $1.77, or almost 4 percent, on Monday.
Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index surged almost 1 percent on upbeat U.S. retail sales data for August.
The oil markets were also eyeing weekly U.S. oil inventory data after market intelligence company Genscape said in an estimate on Monday that crude stocks at the key U.S. crude delivery point Cushing, Oklahoma fell 1.8 million barrels last week.
A preliminary Reuters poll indicated that U.S. crude stockpiles likely remained flat last week, after four straight weeks of gains.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) will issue its weekly report on U.S. inventories after the market's settlement, at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) while the U.S. Energy Information Administration will issue its data on Wednesday.
"We're just trading around the edges before tonight's API, in line with the better stock market and predictions of declining U.S. crude production," said John Kilduff, partner at New York energy hedge fund Again Capital.