SINGAPORE, Oct 12 (Reuters) Oil prices hovered around $83 on Friday, remaining within $1 of a record high, after a surprise decline in U.S. investories stoked concerns about supplies ahead of the peak winter demand season in the world's top energy consumer.
Oil had traded up to $83.76 earlier on Thursday, near the all-time high of $83.90 struck on Sept. 20. London Brent crude
U.S. crude oil stocks dipped 1.7 million barrels last week to the lowest level since January, a report by the Energy Information Administration showed, countering analyst expectations for a 900,000 barrel rise. [EIA/S] ''Brent and WTI crude futures both soared to new nominal highs on October 11, propelled by news of a surprise weekly draw in US crude stocks and a broader, counter-seasonal, third-quarter slide in total OECD oil inventories,'' said Antoine Half from Fimat's Energy Research, in a report.
U.S. distillate supplies slid by 600,000 barrels last week, according to the EIA, while heating oil stocks rose 1 million barrels. Gasoline stocks rose 1.7 million barrels.
Worries of a winter supply squeeze have kept oil on the boil over the past month and sent U.S. heating oil prices to a record high on Thursday.
On Thursday, the International Energy Agency added that high oil prices were tempting consumers to switch to cheaper natural gas and cutting estimates for economic growth. The agency slashed its fourth-quarter demand estimate by 320,000 barrels per day to 2.03 million bpd.
An underperforming U.S. dollar continues to push oil and commodity prices higher, with gold and platinum hitting fresh highs on Thursday as the greenback weakened against the euro.
[nL11674783] The decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to add 500,000 barrels per day of crude to the market starting in November has not cooled prices.
Top exporter Saudi Arabia told Asian customers on Thursday it would increase shipments by about 10 percent. [ID:nT177604] REUTERS DKS HS0821