Oil fell nearly a dollar on Monday as mild weather blanketed much of the United States, cutting into heating oil demand from the world's largest energy consuming nation.
The drop in prices was limited, however, as dealers looked ahead to OPEC's meeting in Nigeria on Thursday at which the group's ministers will consider deepening a production cut to drain soaring world energy stockpiles.
U.S. crude prices while London Brent crude fell 22 cents to $61.98 a barrel.
"The mild weather should keep some pressure on prices," said Mike Fitzpatrick, vice president for energy risk management at Fimat USA. "The market is waiting for OPEC and inventory data or something substantial to move it."
U.S. heating demand is expected to be nearly 27% below normal this week with warmer temperatures in most regions east of the Rockies, the National Weather Service said Monday.
The warmer weather comes after the season's first cold blast last week pushed heating demand about 18% above normal, the NWS said in its weekly report.
U.S. oil prices are about 20% below the all-time high of $78.40 a barrel hit in July, but have been sticking in a range near $60 a barrel since the end of September as dealers weigh high inventories against OPEC cuts.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page