Oil prices rose $US1 per barrel after US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he was committed to protecting the banking sector.
By 2.10pm EST (1910 GMT) on Tuesday, US crude oil had risen $US1.12 cents to $US38.56 per barrel. London Brent crude rose $US1.28 cents to $US42.27 per barrel.
Uncertainty about the future of the US banking system has raised concerns the economic crisis could worsen.
Oil prices are almost $US110 per barrel below their peak of $US147.27 reached on 11 July last year.
OPEC is scheduled to meet on 15 March in Vienna and are expected to consider deepening their output cuts. Since September, members of the cartel have cut their output by 4.2 million barrels per day.