Crude Oil Rebounds From 13-Month Low

Crude oil rebounded from a 13-month low in New York on speculation OPEC may announce production cuts at a meeting next week as weakening demand caused by slowing economic growth bolstered stockpiles.

Oil climbed above $72 a barrel after OPEC said it brought forward to next week a November meeting to discuss production. Prices fell below $70 yesterday as U.S. crude oil inventories rose more than twice as forecast last week, and then rebounded in after-hours electronic trading as equities gained.

Crude oil for November delivery rose as much as $3.17, or 4.5 percent, to $73.02 a barrel, and traded at $72.81 at 12:58 p.m. Singapore time on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Yesterday it fell $4.69, or 6.3 percent, to $69.85 a barrel, the lowest settlement since Aug. 23, 2007.

OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world's oil, will likely reduce oil output by 1 million barrels a day at next week's meeting to check the drop in prices, Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah said.

OPEC reduced its forecast for average oil demand next year by 450,000 barrels a day, or 0.5 percent, to 87.21 million barrels a day, in a report Oct. 15.

OPEC oil supplies fell 3.8 percent in September to 31.8 million barrels a day, according to revised data from Geneva- based consultants PetroLogistics Ltd. The amount declined from 33.05 million barrels in August because of lower sales by Saudi Arabia and Iran, company founder Conrad Gerber said by e-mail yesterday.

U.S. crude oil supplies rose 5.6 million barrels to 308.2 million barrels last week, the Department of Energy said in a weekly report yesterday. Crude oil inventories were forecast to rise 2.6 million barrels, according to the median of analyst estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

Gasoline stockpiles climbed 6.97 million barrels to 193.8 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 10, the report showed. Supplies were forecast to rise 3 million barrels, according to the Bloomberg survey.

Brent crude oil for December settlement rose as much as $2.76, or 4.1 percent, to $70.60 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange.,
10/17/2008 5:25:32 AM