Oil prices climb on US Gulf Coast refinery disruption

"The truth is the commodity sector has to start investing in infrastructure to keep up with demand. And another truth is that will not happen overnight," Flynn said.

Despite higher gasoline prices, US drivers seem unwilling to curb consumption. Over the past four weeks, US demand for gasoline has been running 0.9 percent higher than a year ago, the Department of Energy reported last week.

The department’s weekly snapshot of oil inventories is due Wednesday.

Meanwhile, "geopolitical risks continue to limit the downside in crude with Iran’s weekend reminder that it is prepared to use oil exports as a weapon in its nuclear dispute," Barclays’s Norrish said.

Traders remained concerned over the unfolding Iranian nuclear energy crisis.

Iran had said Monday that it would only use its vast oil resources as a weapon of last resort in the international dispute over its nuclear programme.

Iran, which is the OPEC oil cartel’s number-two exporter, denies it is seeking nuclear arms and insists its atomic programme is purely for electricity generation.