US benchmark oil prices inch toward a fresh, 13-month-high early in NY, up 0.4% at $61.95 a barrel. “Oil is higher as the prospects of a return to a balanced market is in play,” says Peter Cardillo at Spartan Capital. The EIA last week said total US crude-oil inventories had erased a long-running surplus and were now roughly on par with the five-year average. This week’s data, due Wednesday morning, is almost certain to push storage into a deficit to the average given a sharp drop in US oil production last week due to a harsh winter storm in Texas. The global benchmark Brent rises 0.5% to $64.68 a barrel.