Crude Prices Rise by $2 a Barrel

U.S. crude oil futures strengthened further to trade more than $2 a barrel higher on Tuesday, with traders focusing on spread trading between the U.S. benchmark WTI and Brent crude futures.

NYMEX crude for March delivery surged to a session high of $99.13, rising $2.22, or 2.29 percent by 11:08 a.m. EST (1608 GMT). In London, ICE March Brent crude was up 88 cents, or 0.76 percent, at $116.81, off its session high of $117.10.

The WTI-Brent spread stood at just below $18 by 11:10 a.m. EST in volatile trading, having hit an intrady high of $20.71 earlier, the widest since Oct. 24, 2011, when the spread hit $22.77.