LONDON: Crude prices steadied on Wednesday after the United States said that its energy stockpiles rose last week, reinforcing a climate of weak energy demand in the world's biggest oil consumer.
Oil prices had risen earlier in the day as traders reacted to a forecast that global demand was set to grow and amid hopes for a Greek debt deal, analysts said.
In late London deals, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March dipped four cents to $116.19 a barrel.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for March, edged up two cents to $98.43 a barrel.
The US Department of Energy said Wednesday that inventories of American crude, gasoline and distillates all rose last week.
Amid the gains, analysts said energy demand remained weak in the United States.
"The run of very weak US oil demand indications has continued," Barclays Capital analyst Paul Horsnell said on Wednesday.
But in a report on Tuesday, the US Energy Information Administration forecast that worldwide oil demand was set to accelerate over the next two years.
On Tuesday, Brent crude prices hit six-month highs above $117 before falling back.