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Oil traded near a one-week high in New York on signs the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may set an output ceiling similar to current levels at its meeting in Vienna today.

Futures were little changed after climbing the most in almost four weeks yesterday. OPEC members agreed they should set a limit for the first half of next year of 30 million barrels a day, said a delegate who declined to be identified. An industry- funded report showed U.S. crude supplies rose last week. Government data today may show a drop, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Prices surged on Dec. 13 after an Iranian parliamentarian said the country will hold drills to practice closing the Strait of Hormuz.

“The market is a little bit jitterish over what may potentially come out of the OPEC meeting,” said David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney who had forecast oil would trade from $80 to $90 a barrel before tension increased in the Gulf. “We suspect the risk is to the downside for the price of oil. U.S. demand still hasn’t significantly improved.”

Crude for January delivery was at $100.01 a barrel, down 13 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:52 p.m. Sydney time. The contract yesterday advanced 2.4 percent to $100.14, the highest close since Dec. 7. Prices are 9.4 percent higher this year after climbing 15 percent in 2010.

Brent oil for January settlement was at $109.13 a barrel, down 37 cents, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The future expires tomorrow. The more-actively traded February contract fell 34 cents to $108.74.

The European benchmark contract’s premium to West Texas Intermediate was at $9.12, compared with $9.36 yesterday and a record $27.88 on Oct. 14.

OPEC Output

Output by the 12 OPEC nations last month was 30.355 million barrels of crude a day, according to a Bloomberg survey of producers, analysts and officials. The group will need to sell 30.1 million barrels a day next year to balance global supply and demand, its secretariat said yesterday in its monthly report. The International Energy Agency estimates that producer group will need to pump 30.2 million barrels next year.

U.S. crude stockpiles rose 462,000 barrels last week to 334.6 million, data from the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute showed yesterday. An Energy Department report today will probably show supplies fell 2.5 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

Fuel Supplies

Gasoline inventories slipped 12,000 barrels, the API data shows. They are likely to rise 1.2 million barrels, according to the median of 12 analyst estimates in the Bloomberg survey before the Energy Department report. Distillate supplies, including diesel and heating fuel, gained 1.2 million to 142 million barrels, the API said.

Gasoline implied demand fell 2.1 percent last week to the lowest since August while distillates products supplied slumped 6.8 percent to the least since September, API data showed.

The API collects stockpile information on a voluntary basis from operators of refineries, bulk terminals and pipelines. The government requires that reports be filed with the Energy Department for its weekly survey.

New York oil futures gained as much as 3.6 percent yesterday after the state-run Fars news agency said Iran will hold drills to practice shutting the Strait. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said speculation about the closure was untrue. About 15.5 million barrels a day, or a sixth of global oil supply is transported through the waterway, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Iran pumped about 5 percent of the world’s crude last year, based on BP Plc’s annual Statistical Review of World Energy.

Oil in New York has technical support along the middle Bollinger Band, close to the intraday low of the past three days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This indicator is around $98.25 a barrel today. Buy orders tend to be clustered near chart-support levels. cantly improved.”

Crude for January delivery was at $100.01 a barrel, down 13 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:52 p.m. Sydney time. The contract yesterday advanced 2.4 percent to $100.14, the highest close since Dec. 7. Prices are 9.4 percent higher this year after climbing 15 percent in 2010.

Brent oil for January settlement was at $109.13 a barrel, down 37 cents, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The future expires tomorrow. The more-actively traded February contract fell 34 cents to $108.74.

The European benchmark contract’s premium to West Texas Intermediate was at $9.12, compared with $9.36 yesterday and a record $27.88 on Oct. 14.

OPEC Output

Output by the 12 OPEC nations last month was 30.355 million barrels of crude a day, according to a Bloomberg survey of producers, analysts and officials. The group will need to sell 30.1 million barrels a day next year to balance global supply and demand, its secretariat said yesterday in its monthly report. The International Energy Agency estimates that producer group will need to pump 30.2 million barrels next year.

U.S. crude stockpiles rose 462,000 barrels last week to 334.6 million, data from the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute showed yesterday. An Energy Department report today will probably show supplies fell 2.5 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

Fuel Supplies

Gasoline inventories slipped 12,000 barrels, the API data shows. They are likely to rise 1.2 million barrels, according to the median of 12 analyst estimates in the Bloomberg survey before the Energy Department report. Distillate supplies, including diesel and heating fuel, gained 1.2 million to 142 million barrels, the API said.

Gasoline implied demand fell 2.1 percent last week to the lowest since August while distillates products supplied slumped 6.8 percent to the least since September, API data showed.

The API collects stockpile information on a voluntary basis from operators of refineries, bulk terminals and pipelines. The government requires that reports be filed with the Energy Department for its weekly survey.

New York oil futures gained as much as 3.6 percent yesterday after the state-run Fars news agency said Iran will hold drills to practice shutting the Strait. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said speculation about the closure was untrue. About 15.5 million barrels a day, or a sixth of global oil supply is transported through the waterway, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Iran pumped about 5 percent of the world’s crude last year, based on BP Plc’s annual Statistical Review of World Energy.

Oil in New York has technical support along the middle Bollinger Band, close to the intraday low of the past three days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This indicator is around $98.25 a barrel today. Buy orders tend to be clustered near chart-support levels.

Bloomberg

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