World oil prices marginally higher in Asia

World oil prices marginally higher in Asia


Singapore: World oil traded marginally higher in Asia on 16 November after a lower demand forecast from the OPEC cartel, dealers said.

The estimate issued by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) coincided with a surprise increase in crude stockpiles reported by the US government.

In morning trade, New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for December delivery, was nine cents higher at $93.52 a barrel. The contract slipped 66 cents to close at $93.43 in New York trades the previous day (15 November).

The December contract was set to expire on 16 November.

Brent North Sea crude for January was 1 cent higher at $90.24 a barrel.

December’s Brent contract expired at the close of trading in London, where it shed 42 cents to settle at $90.94 a barrel.

On 165 November, Opec lowered its estimate for world oil demand growth in 2007, citing a late winter and high gasoline prices in North America that seem to be reducing consumption.

The cartel, which produces about 40% of the world’s crude, estimated demand would fall by 100,000 barrels per day in the fourth quarter this year and by 30,000 bpd in 2008.

Tobin Gorey, a commodities strategist with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, noted the cartel’s forecast closely followed a similar forecast from the International Energy Agency (IEA) — a rare agreement between producers and consumers.

IEA, energy policy adviser to major developed countries, lowered its global oil demand forecast for the fourth quarter of this year.