London - Global oil prices hit a 14-month pinnacle on Wednesday, buoyed by strong energy demand in the United States, the world's biggest crude consumer, ahead of US inventories data, analysts said.
In early deals, New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in August, surged to $104.87 a barrel - a level last seen in May 2012.
It later stood at $104.75, up $1.22 from Tuesday's closing level.
Brent North Sea crude for August rallied to $108.47 a barrel, reaching a high last seen in April, before pulling back to $108.13, but still up 32c from Tuesday's close.
New York's light sweet crude had already scaled 14-month highs on Tuesday on expectations of tighter US oil stocks and Egypt-linked supply fears.
Industry data from the American Petroleum Institute released on Tuesday showed that US oil inventories tumbled by nine million barrels last week.
Later on Wednesday, the US government's Energy Information Administration will announce its report on American oil stockpiles for the week to 5 July.
Expectations are for a 2.9-million-barrel slump in crude reserves, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires, which would indicate a pickup in energy demand.
Elsewhere, concerns over disruption in Middle East supply caused by Egyptian turmoil have eased after a timetable for fresh polls was announced on Tuesday following last week's military coup.
Separately on Wednesday, oil exporting cartel Opec predicted that world crude demand would pick up at a faster rate in 2014, but also warned of the potential impact of economic troubles in Europe, the US and China.