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Latest update : 2008-12-15

Forecasts of a slowdown in oil production have driven the price of crude oil back over the $50 mark in New York for the first time in two weeks. OPEC members meet in Algeria on Wednesday to decide on a likely output cut.

AFP - The price of New York crude oil soared above 50 dollars per barrel on Monday for the first time for two weeks as the market was driven by expectations that OPEC will cut crude output this week, traders said.

Light sweet crude for delivery in January delivery jumped to 50.05 dollars per barrel, hitting the highest level since December 1 on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

On London's InterContinental Exchange (ICE), Brent North Sea crude for January leapt as high as 49.96 dollars a barrel, which was also a two-week pinnacle.

"Crude prices pushed higher on hopes of hefty supply cuts by OPEC," said Nimit Khamar, analyst at the Sucden brokerage in London.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets in Oran, Algeria, on Wednesday and is widely forecast to slash output in the hope of lifting prices weighed down by mounting global recession worries.

OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri told reporters on his arrival in Oran that he would like to see "a very sizeable cut" in crude oil production, adding that "the market is oversupplied with oil."

Date created : 2008-12-15