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BLBG: Oil Rises for First Time in Five Days on Rate Cut Speculation
By Grant Smith

Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil rose for the first time in five days as an interest-rate cut in Australia triggered speculation that other central banks will ease policy to shore up economic growth.

Oil also rose on speculation OPEC, due to meet in December, may trim supply. Libya's top oil official called for a cut, while Qatar's oil minister said it's reducing output in line with official quotas. OPEC President Chakib Khelil said the group will take ``appropriate measures'' to stabilize international markets.

``We'll see more commitment from central banks that will help the market in the short term,'' said Hannes Loacker, an analyst at Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich in Vienna. ``If prices fall to $80, the possibility of OPEC cutting before its December meeting increases.''

Crude oil for November delivery jumped as much as $3.57, or 4.1 percent, to $91.38 a barrel in electronic trading, and was at $90.84 at 1:11 p.m. London time on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude oil futures have declined 38 percent from the record $147.27 reached July 11.

Yesterday, crude futures fell $6.07 to settle at $87.81 a barrel in New York. The contract touched $87.56, the lowest since Feb. 7, as the dollar rose against the euro, while OPEC chief Khelil said the price slide will continue next year.

Arjun Murti, the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst who predicted a crude ``super spike'' in March 2005, said there is a ``downside'' risk to his forecast that oil may rise to $120 in the fourth-quarter.

`Mounting Concern'

``Oil prices increasingly appear unlikely to sustain a rally until global GDP expectations bottom,'' Goldman said in a note. ``While we believe oil supply/demand fundamentals are not as bearish as is sentiment, we recognize that concern continues to mount towards global oil demand growth.''

Crude was supported against the deteriorating economic outlook by risks to supply from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, as well as producers outside the group such as Mexico and the former Soviet Union.

Petroleos Mexicanos, the third-largest supplier to the U.S., closed six wells in the Gulf of Mexico and removed 33 workers from offshore platforms as Tropical Storm Marco passed nearby. Output from the producer's Lankahuasa platform was shut at 3 p.m. yesterday, Mexico City-based Pemex said on its Web site.

Azerbaijan's crude shipments via the Baku-Tbilisi pipeline will be 47 percent lower next month than they were before a fire on the link's Turkish section in August, loading schedules show. A total of 12.34 million barrels will be transferred in November.

OPEC Output

Brent crude oil for November settlement gained as much as $2.75, or 3.2 percent, to $86.37 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was at $85.50 at 1:11 p.m. London time. Yesterday, the contract fell $6.57, or 7.3 percent, to $83.68 a barrel, the lowest closing price since Oct. 23, 2007.

Qatari Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said today the country would trim by ``small amounts.'' Qatar was producing about 50,000 barrels a day above its last known quota in September, according to Bloomberg data.

Oil production by OPEC, which pumps 40 percent of the world's crude, fell 1.3 percent in September as output in Iraq dropped to a 13-month low, a Bloomberg News survey released Oct. 3 showed.

``With oil prices collapsing and international banks being routed, it's better to keep our oil underground,'' Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya's National Oil Corp., said in a telephone interview from Tripoli.

OPEC members pumped an average 32.19 million barrels a day last month, down 425,000 barrels a day from August, according to the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts. August output was revised up by 40,000 barrels a day because of higher Nigerian output.

OAO Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said he expects OPEC members to prevent a further ``substantial'' drop in the oil price. Medvedev spoke in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Moscow today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nesa Subrahmaniyan in Singapore at nesas@bloomberg.net. Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.net