Crude oil rose in New York, reversing yesterday's decline from a record and resuming a trend toward $100 a barrel.
Oil producers, including the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, are powerless to stop prices from reaching $100 as few countries can produce more crude, Oman's energy minister said yesterday. Prices soared 17 percent the past month as U.S. stockpiles fell, the dollar weakened and Iran threatened to curb supplies in a standoff over nuclear research.
``Oil is continuing the trend we've seen of high volatility,'' said Gerard Burg, a minerals and energy economist at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Melbourne. ``In the short term the trend is still upwards. I'm expecting prices will head towards $100 in the next few weeks.''
Crude oil for December delivery gained as much as 51 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $94 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $93.92 at 6:49 a.m. Singapore time.
Yesterday the contract fell $1.04, or 1.1 percent, to settle at $93.49, after earlier touching $96.24, the highest since trading began in 1983. Oil is up 62 percent from a year ago.
Prices rose on Oct. 31 by the most since Jan. 30 after the U.S. Energy Department reported an unexpected drop in crude-oil stockpiles and the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate. Futures in New York have traded in a $7.32 range this week.
Oman's Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy said he didn't know of one oil-producing country that isn't at maximum output.
``Maybe Saudi could produce more, but the lack of spare capacity is a major factor,'' he said in a phone interview from Muscat.
Brent crude oil for December settlement yesterday declined 91 cents, or 1 percent, to $89.72 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Brent reached $91.71 a barrel earlier in the day, the highest since trading began in 1988. ( Bloomberg )