U.S. crude up $2 on lift from distillate stocks drop

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures rose $2 on Wednesday, extending their rise after a government report showed a big, unexpected drop in distillate stockpiles in the United States last week which also helped push heating oil futures up sharply.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, July crude rose $1.80, or 1.81 percent, to $101.39 a barrel by 1:26 p.m. EDT (1726 GMT), trading from $98.20 to $101.63, the highest since May 11 when prices reached $104.60 intraday.

(Reporting by Robert Gibbons)