World oil prices extended gains Monday amid tight crude supplies heading into the northern hemisphere winter, traders said.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for January delivery, climbed 72 cents to 94.56 dollars per barrel. The December contract expired Friday, closing 1.67 dollars higher at 95.10 dollars.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for January delivery gained 48 cents to 92.10 dollars per barrel.
The oil market was digesting the outcome of an OPEC summit over the weekend.
A final declaration Sunday from the oil exporters’ group urged world peace to help stabilise prices and included a commitment to help fight global warming.
In the run-up to the two-day summit, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had been under pressure to increase supplies to help cool prices which recently reached record heights close to 100 dollars a barrel.
The powerful OPEC cartel pumps about 40 percent of global crude supplies.
Although some ministers expressed concern that expensive crude would eventually dampen demand for oil, they said blame for the near triple-figure price lay outside the cartel and turned a deaf ear to the demands.
“The apparent removal of the possibility of increased supply will serve to at least underpin crude oil at these levels,” Bank of Ireland analyst Paul Harris said.
“The factors that have precipitated the move to record levels remain intact.”
Victor Shum, a Singapore-based analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz, said an output hike would have limited impact in any case given that the northern winter hemisphere is fast approaching.
Heating fuel demand typically peaks during winter especially in the northeast region of the United States.
“Even if OPEC decided to raise the output targets, it is too late for peak winter demand.
“And so as we are heading into the northern hemisphere winter season, demand will likely pick up,” said Shum.
“We have tight supply-demand fundamentals and that will continue to support prices.”
Crude futures had last week slumped further from all-time highs of 98.62 dollars in New York and 95.19 dollars in London as OPEC and the International Energy Agency downgraded their forecasts for global oil demand.
Prices were also hit late in the week by news of a surprise increase to US energy stockpiles.