* U.S. crude stocks, imports fell last week—API
* Brent above $100/bbl, premium to NYMEX near record
* Coming up: EIA oil data 10:30 a.m. EST Wednesday
NEW YORK, Feb 9 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures rose Wednesday on continued uncertainty about Egypt and a weaker dollar as investors awaited the government’s weekly oil inventory report.
While no oil supply disruptions have resulted from Egypt’s political turmoil, the potential for the unrest to affect shipping traffic and pipeline flows and spill over to other countries in the region continued to keep oil traders wary.
The uncertainty also helped Brent crude stay above $100 a barrel and its premium to U.S. crude CL-LCO1=R near a record above $13 a barrel.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly oil inventory report is set for release at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT) on Wednesday.
The report will follow an industry report showing crude stocks unexpectedly fell last week. U.S. crude oil inventories fell 558,000 barrels last week as imports fell 1.1 million barrels per day, industry group American Petroleum Institute said late Tuesday.
Gasoline stocks rose 3.2 million barrels, more than forecast, and distillate stocks fell only 538,000 barrels, less than expected, the API said.
Ahead of the API report, a Reuters survey of analysts yielded a forecast for crude stocks to have risen for a fourth consecutive week, by 2.4 million barrels. [ID:nN0847181]
Distillate stocks, including heating oil and diesel fuel, were forecast to have fallen 1.2 million barrels and gasoline stocks were expected to be up 2.5 million barrels.
* On the New York Mercantile Exchange, March crude CLH1 rose 68 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $87.62 a barrel at 8:51 a.m. EST (1351 GMT), trading from $87.09 to $87.82.
* Saudi Arabia in 2007 threatened to pull out of a multibillion dollar Texas oil refinery investment unless the U.S. government intervened to stop state company Saudi Aramco being sued in U.S. courts for alleged oil price fixing, according to U.S. diplomatic cables seen by Wikileaks. [ID:nLDE7171DQ]
* Egyptians counted the economic cost of more than two weeks of turmoil as reinvigorated protesters flocked again to Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand President Hosni Mubarak quit immediately. [ID:nLDE718008]
* China’s CNPC, parent of PetroChina (0857.HK), plans to boost first-quarter crude throughput 13.3 percent from year ago and also stood ready to import 600,000 tonnes of diesel to meet rising agricultural use during a drought. [ID:nLDE7181B9]
* There is no need for OPEC to hold an emergency meeting as the oil market is well supplied and the recent price rise is not related to any threat to supplies, OPEC’s secretary-general was quoted as saying. [ID:nLDE718051]
* Armed pirates seized a U.S.-bound oil tanker carrying Kuwaiti crude off the coast of Oman, the ship’s Greek manager said. [ID:nLDE71814K]
* Saudi Aramco has sold three cargoes totalling around 240,000 tonnes of low-density fuel oil, for March-April loading from Saudi Arabia at six-year high, double-digit premiums as the market’s supply tightness showed no signs of easing, traders said on Wednesday. [ID:nL3E7D90BM]
* The euro gave up its gains against the dollar after sources said Bundesbank head Axel Weber will not be a candidate to replace Jean-Claude Trichet as President of the European Central Bank. The dollar also climbed against the yen and the Swiss franc, boosted by rising U.S. yields. [USD/]
* World stocks dipped on profit-taking after the interest rate rise in China, the world’s second biggest economy. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Gold held steady as players eyed inflation in the wake of China’s rate hike. [GOL/]
* Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies on the U.S. economy before the House Budget Committee at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT).
* U.S. Energy Information Administration oil inventory data at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT) on Wednesday.
* U.S. Energy Information Administration natural gas storage data at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT) on Thursday. 8:51 LAST NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT DAY AGO
CHNG CHNG VOL VOL CLc1 87.62 0.68 0.8% 87.09 87.82 37,128 324,984 CLc2 90.75 0.55 0.6% 90.24 90.91 22,366 158,279 LCOc1 100.59 0.67 0.7% 100.03 100.80 38,274 202,988 RBc1 2.5068 0.0126 0.5% 2.4950 2.5155 1,524 44,410 RBc2 2.6348 0.0116 0.4% 2.6236 2.6417 2,014 29,187 HOc1 2.7443 0.0113 0.5% 2.7300 2.7469 3,490 42,551 HOc2 2.7451 0.0145 0.5% 2.7339 2.7466 1,870 25,116 * NYMEX crude oil for March CLc1 rose 68 cents to $87.62 a barrel by 8:51 a.m. in volume of 37,128 lots. (Reporting by Robert Gibbons; Editing by John Picinich)