Crude prices closed up about 4 percent on Tuesday as a rally in U.S. gasoline and diesel added support to oil markets already boosted by an industry strike in Brazil and force majeure for Libyan crude loadings.
The rebound, after a 1 percent drop in crude prices on Tuesday, came ahead of industry group American Petroleum Institute's (API) data on U.S. oil inventories, which were expected to a build in crude stockpiles.
"If you look at the supply situation, the bigger picture is bearish. But the price action suggests the path of least resistance is higher for now," said Scott Shelton, oil broker and commodities specialist at ICAP in Durham, North Carolina.
Brent crude futures were up $1.73, or 3.55 percent, to $50.52 by 2:35 p.m. EDT (1835 GMT).
U.S. crude futures closed up 3.81 percent, or $1.76, at $47.90 a barrel.