The price of oil edged higher above $92 a barrel Tuesday as analysts estimated that supplies of U.S. crude and gasoline likely fell last week.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude was up 33 cents at $92.56 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 80 cents on Monday to settle at $92.20 in New York.
In London, Brent crude was up 92 cents at $110.47 on the ICE Futures exchange.
The American Petroleum Institute is scheduled to announce its weekly crude and oil products supply data later Tuesday.
Analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos., predict crude inventories fell 300,000 barrels while gasoline stocks dropped 2 million barrels, signs that energy demand may be improving.
The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reports its weekly supply data — the market benchmark — on Wednesday.
After jumping from below $78 in June, crude has hovered near $90 for the last few weeks as investors weigh weak global economic growth against possible monetary and fiscal stimulus measures.
"We're stuck once again in a range," Carl Larry of Oil Outlooks and Opinions said in a report. "It tells me one thing; we are where we should be. That means I think when all the static is cleared, $90 a barrel is the porridge that is not too hot or not too cold."
The conflict in Syria, the strained relations between Iran and Western powers over Tehran's nuclear program, and Tropical Storm Ernesto also helped boost oil prices.
"The oil market remains susceptible to Middle East tensions, while an Atlantic tropical storm is posing a threat to Mexico's crude production," said JBC Energy in Vienna. "Mexico accounts for around 11 percent of U.S crude imports."
Tropical Storm Ernesto has led to the posting of hurricane warnings for Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Early Tuesday, Ernesto was centered about 195 miles (315 kilometers) east-northeast of the Honduran island of Roatan, the U.S. hurricane center said. The storm had maximum sustained winds near 65 mph (100 kph) and was moving west-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph).
A weaker dollar also helped lift oil prices, making crude cheaper for investors holding other currencies. On Tuesday the euro was up at $1.2421 from $1.2398 on Monday.
In other Nymex energy trading, wholesale gasoline futures were up 2.53 cents at $2.9475 a gallon and heating oil gained 2.05 cents to $2.9614. Natural gas added 5.3 cents at $2.961 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Alex Kennedy in Singapore and Alberto Arce in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, contributed to this report.