Oil was higher on Tuesday, as traders looked ahead to data on U.S. crude inventories and Middle East tensions waned.

Crude oil futures rose 0.30% to $66.42 a barrel by 10:53 AM ET (14:53 GMT).

Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., was up 0.49% $71.77 a barrel.

Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report at 4:30PM ET (20:30GMT). Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday, amid forecasts for an oil-stock drop of around 1.9 million barrels.

Oil was lower on Monday, as concerns over tensions in the Middle East waned with investors taking the view that Western-led strikes on Syria were a one-off intervention.

While Syria is not a significant oil producer itself, the wider Middle East is the world’s most important crude exporter and tension in the region tends to put oil markets on edge.

Meanwhile, International Energy Agency executive Fatih Birol said the oil market is “much more balanced.” Higher oil prices may not be desirable for producers and if prices do stick, the shale wave could be bigger than thought, he added.

The price of oil has been stuck between the rise in U.S. shale and a deal from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ and Russia to curb production and end a global supply glut.

OPEC has been cutting crude output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up oil prices. The pact began in January 2017 and is set to expire at the end of 2018 but de-facto leader Saudi Arabia is pushing for the cuts to extend into 2019.

In other energy trading, Gasoline RBOB Futures decreased 0.02% at $2.0431 a gallon, while heating oil fell 0.35% to $2.0631 a gallon. Natural gas futures rose 0.93% to $2.700 per million British thermal units.


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This article was originally published at Investing.com