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Last Updated: Monday, 19 November 2007, 20:26 GMT
Oil prices rise after Opec summit
Opec leaders
Opec leaders met in Saudi Arabia
Oil prices rose in Monday trading after leaders of producers' cartel Opec decided not to increase production at their latest meeting.

US light crude added 81 cents to $94.65 a barrel in late New York trade after hitting as high as $95.15.

Supply fears have pushed up the price of oil recently, sending US light crude to $98.62 at the start of November.

With the dollar weakening, investors have been placing their money in commodities as an alternative.

'Little effect'

Opec's decision not to increase supplies following its latest meeting came despite calls from US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.

Even if the Opec ministers decide to raise output in early December... the winter season would essentially be over
Victor Shum
energy analyst

The 12-nation producers group next meets at the start of December in the United Arab Emirates.

Some analysts say that even if Opec decides to increase output next month, it will not have an effect on prices ahead of the key Christmas period in the US and other Western nations.

"Even if the Opec ministers decide to raise output in early December, that would likely become effective only in January so by the time the oil gets to the market, the winter season would essentially be over," said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore.

Dollar issue

Opec leaders have commented that an increase in oil production would do little to lower prices, as they blame the higher cost of oil on the weak dollar, the currency in which crude is priced.

The weaker dollar has been driving up oil prices as investors have been using the commodity as an alternative to holding dollars.

Oil prices have risen by 60% this year and some analysts say that $100-a-barrel oil is inevitable.

Adjusting for inflation, US light crude's record peak of $101.70 came in 1980 against a backdrop of war between Iraq and Iran.

Earlier, disagreements about whether to continue pricing oil in dollars surfaced at the Opec meeting when private discussions were accidentally broadcast live.

Venezuela and Iran, in particular, argued for a change in policy.

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