Oil prices slipped on Tuesday as traders bet that weekly US crude demand decline
Oil prices slipped on Tuesday as traders bet that weekly US crude stocks figures would show declining demand in the world's biggest energy-consuming nation.
US light, sweet crude oil futures for December settled at $56.98 a barrel, down 71 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the day, the contract tested above $58 a barrel.
In London,Brent North Sea December cintract fell 68 cents to $54.05 a barrel.
US Department of Energy inventories data, due for publication on Wednesday, were expected to show a rise in company stockpiles, suggesting waning demand for oil in the United States.
Economists generally believe that Saudi Arabia, the kingpin of the OPEC cartel of oil producers, has the capacity to sharply increase its oil production between now and 2030, to 18.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from 10.5 million now.
Also on Monday, US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman had expressed confidence that OPEC would decide to provide "sufficient" crude to the world market at a meeting next month in Kuwait.