Oil prices rebound

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London - Oil prices rebounded on Tuesday following a heavy fall for Brent crude the previous day, while OPEC maintained its forecast for the growth of world oil demand.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in January, jumped $1.22 to $98.56 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for January rose 64 cents to stand at $110.03 a barrel in London afternoon deals.

The European benchmark Brent had slumped on Monday, closing down more than two dollars, following news of weaker German industrial output, while New York crude futures dipped slightly.

On Tuesday, the OPEC oil cartel stuck to its forecast that 2014

global oil demand would grow at a faster rate than in 2013 thanks to accelerating world economic growth.

Average 2014 demand would be 98.84 million barrels per day, up 1.04 million bpd from 2013, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its December monthly report.

OPEC, whose 12 members including Saudi Arabia pump about a third of the world's oil, last week agreed to keep the cartel's production ceiling at 30 million bpd.

But OPEC production could increase in the coming months as Iraq and Iran look to export more.

Libyan oil supplies may also recover from a recent plunge.

A months-long blockade by armed protesters of vital oil terminals in east Libya will be lifted on December 15, a tribal chief announced on Tuesday.

These protests as well as blockades of fuel deliveries by the Berber minority have seen Libya's oil output plunge to about 250,000 bpd from normal levels of nearly 1.5 million bpd.

World oil prices could meanwhile head lower next year as higher OPEC output coupled with increased shale production risks oversupplying the market despite upbeat Asian demand for crude, according to analysts. - Sapa-AFP


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