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Oil Prices Slid $2

Oil prices fell by more than USD 2 a barrel on Monday

Oil prices fell by more than USD 2 a barrel on Monday and heating oil futures plunged to a 15-month low.

Supply data due later this week is expected to show rising inventories of crude. Doubts about OPEC`s ability to implement a 1.2 million barrels-a-day production cut also weighed on prices.

Last week, oil prices surged by USD 2 a barrel after energy department data showed a large decline in U.S crude-oil inventories.

Mild autumn weather along the East Coast helped ease prices. Light sweet crude for December delivery fell USD 2.39 to settle at USD 58.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, whereas gasoline futures tumbled by 10.44 cents to settle at USD 1.45 a gallon and heating oil futures declined by 9.29 cents to settle at USD 1.60 a gallon. It was the lowest settlement price for front-month heating oil futures since late July 2005.

In London, Brent crude fell by USD 2.40 to settle at USD 58.68 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Oil traders are watching to see how quickly the 11 members of OPEC move to cut production after announcing that as a group they would reduce output by 1.2 million barrels a day.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran have told some of their customers that they will cut production in coming months, sources said. But this hasn`t had much impact on prices, because the market already priced in some output cuts from OPEC, sources added.

Data for October reportedly showed that OPEC output in fact increased slightly to 30.18 million barrels per day from September levels.

In other Nymex trading, natural gas futures declined by 41.1 cents to settle at USD 7.41 per 1,000 cubic feet.