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Oil rises $4 as OPEC mulls output cut

Bloomberg News / March 13, 2009
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NEW YORK - Crude oil rose more than $4 a barrel, the biggest gain in three weeks, before OPEC meets this weekend to consider a fourth production reduction.

The global oil market is oversupplied and OPEC will cut output if needed, Shokri Ghanem, who chairs Libya's state-run National Oil Corp., said yesterday. Other ministers have called for the group to halt reductions.

Crude oil for April delivery rose $4.70 to settle at $47.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest gain since Feb. 19. Prices are up 5.4 percent so far this year.

Futures fell or rose by 4 percent or more on 24 trading days since the beginning of the year, compared with three days in the same period last year, according to data complied by Bloomberg.

OPEC has reduced daily output targets by 4.2 million barrels since September. Ministers will meet in Vienna on Sunday to discuss whether to make further cuts.

Nigeria is opposed to further oil supply reductions by OPEC countries at this month's meeting, a spokesman for the state oil company said yesterday. Qatar's oil minister said this week the group needs to reach full compliance before any new action.

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