Nearly two years after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries set a strategy to eliminate the global oil glut by pressuring rivals with lower prices, markets continue to struggle with excess supply and crude remains capped below US$50 a barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose by 97 cents, or 2.2%, to $44. The October contract expired Tuesday after advancing 14 USA cents to close at US$43.44.
Fighting erupted in Libya as United Nations backed unity govt forces attempted to retake oil ports.
USA gasoline futures fell 0.4% to $1.4556 per gallon.
Another catalyst for oil prices today was Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's comment that OPEC and non-cartel members are closing in on a production deal.
Libya is now producing 450,000 barrels a day after the resumption of work at some oil fields, Ibrahim Al-Awami, head of the oil measurement department at state-run NOC, said by phone.
A tanker returned to Libya's third-biggest oil port to load a cargo one day after clashes between rival armed forces forced it to sail away to safety. That resulted in a delayed a shipment that was to be the first from the Ras Lanuf port since 2014.
Oil prices edged lower on September 20 ahead of an expected build in US crude oil stocks and on Venezuelan comments that the oil market remains oversupplied by 10%.
On Sunday, Venezuelan President Maduro said participants in the talks - the 14-nation OPEC cartel and Russian Federation - are now working on a deal and that he had discussed the issue with his counterparts from Iran and Ecuador.
Zero Hedge noted that barrel prices are expected to remain "rangebound" until the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' unofficial meeting in Algiers next week, which many are hoping will end with some sort of agreement to curb OPEC's crude oil production.
OPEC members, led by Saudi Arabia and other big Middle East crude exporters, will meet non-OPEC producers led by Russian Federation at informal talks in Algeria between September 26 and 28.
Russian Federation and members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries hold an informal meeting in Algiers on September 28.
Futures were little changed in NY after rising 0.6 percent Monday.
"The credibility of bullish production freeze rhetoric from Venezuela is understandably being questioned in the run-up to next week s Algiers meeting, while worries about additional supply (Nigeria, Libya) worsening the global glut add to the mix", noted analysts at traders Accendo Markets.