Oil prices rise on production fears

A rise in oil prices prompted by expectations that production is likely to be cut by oil cartel Opec has offset relief over the latest fuel price cuts.

The price of light sweet crude oil for November delivery rose $1.66 to £73.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, having dipped below $70 last week.

In July, prices reached a record $147.27, but have been falling after signs of weakening demand amid the economic slowdown in developed countries.

Major fuel-selling companies in the UK launched a subsequent price war, which has seen unleaded petrol drop to as low as 97.9p per litre.

But motorists have been warned that falling prices "shouldn't be taken for granted" after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) said it was considering a cut in production to stabilise oil prices.

Opec president Chakib Khelil said that members plan to announced a "substantial" cut at a meeting in Vienna, Austria, that begins on Friday.

Opec considers the oil market to be oversupplied by about two million barrels a day and the group may cut output again in a December meeting, Mr Khelil said.

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