Crude consolidates after Monday rally. Brent/WTI-spread narrows.

Nymex oil rallied to a seven-week high of $ 97.35/bbl on Monday.

Crude oil futures were little changed on Tuesday, as investors stuck to the sidelines ahead of comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in July traded at $ 97.02 during European morning trade, up 0.1% on the day. New York-traded oil prices held in a range between $ 96.75, the daily low and a session high of $ 97.23. 

Brent oil futures for June delivery shed 0.2% to trade at $ 104.57/bbl, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at $ 7.55.

The gap between the contracts narrowed to the lowest level since January 2011 last week, amid an improving production outlook in the North Sea and indications of declining stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for Nymex oil futures.