The price of oil rose above $97 per barrel, reversing yesterday’s small drop.
In morning trading in New York, crude rose 52 cents to $97.53 per barrel.
Brent crude, which is used to price oil that many US refineries buy to make gasoline, was unchanged at $117.88 in London.
Crude rose sharply in early January, then began to waver between $95 and $98 per barrel, where it has stayed for the past month.
However just as oil prices began to flatten, retail gasoline prices began to take off.
The average US pump price has risen every day since 18 January, adding 34 cents per gallon (3.8 liters) over the period. Today it rose a penny to $3.63 a gallon, the highest ever for this time of year.
Americans may be able to offset higher gasoline bills with lower heating and electricity bills.
Natural gas futures fell 4% to $3.17 per thousand cubic feet after the Energy Department reported natural gas supplies remained well above their 5-year average.
Oil prices rose despite data showing continuing weakness in the European economy.
The eurozone economy shrank by 0.6% in the final quarter of 2012 from the previous three-month period, more than the 0.4% drop expected by markets, according to Eurostat, the EU statistics office.
Germany, Europe's largest economy, shrank by 0.6% for the period.
Addison Armstrong, an analyst at Tradition Energy, said oil prices have remained high because investors are using the cheap credit brought on by low interest rates to invest in commodities.
Also Saudi Arabia has reduced its output somewhat, shrinking world supplies slightly. And the US and Chinese economies appear to be getting healthier.
Mr Armstrong does not expect oil to continue to rise, however, because supplies are ample and demand is about flat. "I don't expect we'll revisit the highs we saw last year," he said. "The fundamentals are going to reassert themselves soon."
There is some disagreement on just how much the oil the world economy needs.
Yesterday the Paris-based International Energy Agency lowered its consumption forecast by 85,000 barrels a day compared with data from a month ago.
On Tuesday OPEC raised its 2013 forecast for global demand, citing signs of recovery in the global economy.
The IEA expects the world to use 90.7 million barrels of crude oil a day this year. That is 1 million barrels a day more than OPEC's estimate of 89.7 million barrels a day.