By the OGJ Online Staff
HOUSTON, Oct. 25 -- Energy futures prices rose in international markets Wednesday as traders speculated that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would cut oil production by 1 million b/d at a special meeting with key non-OPEC producers Monday in Vienna.
The December contract for benchmark US sweet, light crudes gained 48¢ to $22.33/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while the January contract was up 44¢ to $22.50/bbl. In after-hours electronic trading, the December contract dipped to $22.31/bbl, but the January position inched up to $22.54/bbl.
Home heating oil for November delivery jumped 1.81¢ to 63.92¢/gal on the NYMEX. Unleaded gasoline for the same month rose 1.39¢ to 60.4¢/gal. The November natural gas contract surged by 30¢ to $2.99/Mcf.
The market rebounded Wednesday despite a bearish report by the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday of a 4.9 million-bbl jump in US oil inventories last week. US inventories of unleaded gasoline also rose by 965,000 bbl, while heating oil stocks increased by 556,000 bbl.
In London, futures prices for North Sea Brent crude rose Wednesday at the close of trading on the International Petroleum Exchange but remained largely within in the same trading range of recent days. Analysts said the slump in the US economy since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still dominates that market.
The December Brent futures contract gained 32¢ to $21.26/bbl. After outpacing the US natural gas futures market for weeks, IPE's November natural gas contract dipped 1.9¢ to the equivalent of $2.91/Mcf.
The average price for OPEC's basket of seven crudes lost 13¢ to $18.97/bbl Wednesday.