WASHINGTON -- Oil prices edged higher yesterday amid violence in Nigeria and concerns that OPEC may reduce output when it meets next week, but buying was kept in check by forecasts calling for warmer US weather next week.
In Nigeria, gunmen attacked a southern oil export terminal belonging to a subsidiary of Italy's Eni SpA early yesterday, taking three Italians and a Lebanese hostage and killing another person, officials said. Officials said oil exports at the 200,000 barrels a day terminal were not affected.
Also keeping prices firm is uncertainty ahead of a meeting next week of oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC officials have been pressing in recent days for a cut in output on top of a production cut of 1.2 million barrels a day, approved in October.
Light, sweet crude for January delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 30 cents to settle at $62.49 a barrel.