UPDATE 8-Oil rises on new forecasts for demand growth

Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:00pm GMT

* World oil demand to grow faster than expected -EIA

* OPEC lifts view on 2013 world oil demand growth

* U.S. crude stocks seen up 2.4 mln barrels -Reuters poll (Updates with API data paragraphs 11-15)

By Gabriel Debenedetti

NEW YORK, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Tuesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said world oil demand would increase faster than previously expected in 2013 and OPEC raised its outlook for the amount of crude it will need to pump this year.

The EIA increased its forecast for demand after the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its own monthly market report that world oil consumption would expand quicker than previously thought.

"Overall, I would say the OPEC report is constructive and mildly bullish based on the demand forecast," said Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at Energy Management Institute in New York.

Brent crude rose 53 cents to settle at $118.66 a barrel, after finishing lower on Monday.

U.S. crude gained 48 cents to $97.51 a barrel.

The RBOB gasoline contract rebounded from Monday's losses as the weekend blizzard in the U.S. Northeast caused less damage than had been expected.

The EIA upped its forecast for oil demand by 110,000 barrels per day to 1.05 million bpd in 2013, taking global demand to 90.2 million bpd this year.

Worries that Iran's nuclear program will prompt more restrictions on that country's oil held investors' attention more than North Korea's nuclear test.

Tensions eased somewhat on Tuesday when Iran acknowledged it was converting some of its higher-grade enriched uranium into reactor fuel, a move that could help prevent a dispute with the West over its nuclear program hitting a crisis in mid-2013.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday the new centrifuges Iran was installing for uranium enrichment could cut by a third the time needed to create a nuclear bomb. Tehran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful energy purposes.

U.S. OIL INVENTORIES

U.S. crude stocks fell 2.3 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday.

Crude stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, were off 1.1 million barrels, while gasoline stocks fell 810,000 barrels and distillate stocks dropped 1.1 million barrels, the API said.

Analysts had expected U.S. crude stocks to rise 2.4 million barrels, according to a Reuters survey of analysts taken ahead of weekly inventory reports from API and the EIA.

Gasoline stocks had been expected to rise 300,000 barrels and distillate stocks were expected to drop 1.6 million barrels.

The EIA weekly inventory report is due on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT). (Additional reporting by Peg Mackey in London and Osamu Tsukimori in Tokyo; Editing by Dale Hudson, Alison Birrane and Nick Zieminski)