clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

OPEC trying to stabilize oil prices

Crude oil rose from a six-week low in New York as OPEC may agree to pump as much as it can, reducing the group's spare capacity to cushion against any disruption in global supplies.

OPEC, which produces about 40 percent of the world's oil, will consider offering every barrel its members produce to help stabilize world oil prices, group president Sheikh Ahmad Fahd al- Sabah said in Vienna Sunday. U.S. oil and gasoline prices surged to records last month after Hurricane Katrina caused oil platforms and refineries along the Gulf of Mexico to shut.

"The shortage of spare crude capacity is having as much of an impact" on prices as the lack of U.S. refining capacity, David Thurtell, commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd., said in Sydney. "There could be more hurricanes, or some other disruptions from some different source."

Crude oil for October delivery rose as much as 73 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $63.73 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $63.58 at 8:19 a.m. in Singapore. Futures have declined 10 percent from an all- time high of $70.85 a barrel on Aug. 30.

On Friday, the October contract fell $1.75, or 2.7 percent, to $63 a barrel, the lowest close since Aug. 5. Prices fell 1.7 percent last week, and today are 37 percent higher than a year ago.

A tropical storm forming in the southeast of the Bahamas may strengthen to a hurricane before entering the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday. The Gulf is home to about 30 percent of U.S. oil production.


E-mail: gavinevans@bloomberg.net