Crude oil prices stand at highest level this month

Oil futures have risen to their highest level this month as the winter gets colder. Fresh government data and a rush of cold weather in eastern USA reinforced concerns about the country's tight supply of heating oil. Light, sweet crude for January delivery climbed over US$2, to settle at $46.28/barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude was up $1.96 at $43.39 a barrel on the International Petroleum Exchange. Supply disruptions continue in Russia and Nigeria, and the 1 million bpd production cut by OPEC goes into effect next month. Nigeria, Africa's largest exporter of crude has been plagued with a series of strikes and demonstrations throughout the year, and unrest there helped push crude prices to a record closing price of US$55.17 per barrel in late October.
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