Crude rises to three month high

London - Oil climbed to a three-month high in New York, approaching $50 a barrel, after weekly industry data indicated that US crude stockpiles plunged last week.

Futures rose as much as 1.6% in New York after slipping 0.3% on Tuesday. Inventories dropped by 7.6 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report.

Energy Information Administration (EIA) data on Wednesday is forecast to show stockpiles increased. A deal between OPEC and non-members could trim output by 1.2 million barrels a day and boost prices by as much as $15 a barrel, according to Venezuela’s oil minister.

Oil has advanced about 10% since the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed last week to cut production for the first time in eight years.

OPEC, which pumped at a record in September, will decide on quotas for the group’s members at an official meeting in Vienna on November 30.

Hurricane Matthew is heading for the US and may disrupt East Coast fuel shipments.

"Another surprise draw in US crude oil stocks supports prices," said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management. "Now this afternoon’s EIA report will be watched closely for confirmation or deviation."

West Texas Intermediate for November delivery rose as much as 79 cents to $49.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $49.39 at 9:44 in London.

The contract lost 12 cents to $48.69 Tuesday after climbing 9.3% the previous four sessions. Total volume traded was in line with the 100-day average. Prices advanced 7.9% last month.

US stockpiles

Brent for December settlement gained as much as 85 cents, to $51.72 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark was at a $1.62 premium to WTI for December.

Crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI and the biggest US oil storage hub, increased by 435 000 barrels last week, the API said on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the data. Nationwide inventories probably climbed by 1.5 million barrels, according to the Bloomberg survey before the EIA report.

OPEC would collectively cut output by 700 000 barrels a day under the accord hashed out last week in Algiers, Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino said in an e-mailed statement. Non-OPEC states would reduce production by another 500 000 barrels a day, he said.

Oil-market news:

Hurricane Matthew, which hit Haiti and Cuba on Tuesday with winds of 145 miles (230 kilometres) per hour, is forecast to head for the US and hug Florida’s Atlantic coast on Thursday and on Friday before making landfall Saturday in the Carolinas, according to the US National Hurricane Centre.

National Iranian Oil Company will supply BP with natural gas condensate for the first time since sanctions were lifted in January, according to an NIOC official, asking not to be identified because of internal policy.

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