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Oil rises ahead of U.S. supply data and minutes from Fed meeting

An oil refinery is silhouetted against the setting sun April 24, 2008 in El Dorado, Kan.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charlie Riedel

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An oil refinery is silhouetted against the setting sun April 24, 2008 in El Dorado, Kan.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charlie Riedel

The price of oil rose Wednesday before the release of the latest report on U.S. supplies and minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's April policy meeting.

Benchmark U.S. crude for July delivery was up 56 cents to US$102.90 a barrel at 1:50 a.m. ET in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 22 cents to $102.33 on Tuesday.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil, was up 4 cents to $109.73 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.

Traders are watching for analysis of the U.S. economy from the Fed. Meanwhile, fresh information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products is also due later Wednesday.

Data for the week ended May 16 is expected to show a decline of 300,000 barrels in crude oil stocks and an increase of 150,000 barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline was down 0.5 cent to $2.956 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 2.2 cents to $4.53 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil also was flat at $2.946 a gallon.

(TSX:ECA, TSX:IMO, TSX:SU, TSX:HSE, NYSE:BP, NYSE:COP, NYSE:XOM, NYSE:CVX, TSX:CNQ, TSX:TLM, TSX:COS.UN, TSX:CVE)

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