NEW DELHI, Dec 12 (Reuters): Oil rebounded today from a steep drop late last week as OPEC appeared ready to keep pumping near full-throttle through the winter despite ample global inventories.
US crude rose 46 cents to $59.85 a barrel, recovering from a 2.1 per cent slide Friday, while London Brent crude was up 50 cents to $57.81 a barrel.
The president of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah, said there was unanimous support to pump at the cartel's highest level for 25 years, about 30 million barrels daily.
Analysts said the market was concerned about Sunday's explosions at a fuel depot north of London, which has the capacity to hold 5 per cent of Britain's oil supply, although it was not clear how much it was holding before the blast.
Police said the blast at the depot, which supplies petrol and fuel oils to a large part of southeast England, including Luton and Heathrow airports, was almost certainly an accident.
Oil prices raced to its highest level in five weeks Friday and natural gas set a second consecutive record-high above $15 per million British thermal units as a icy weather gripped the US Northeast and Midwest, driving up demand for heating fuels.
But the market was unable to hold those gains on a wave of pre- weekend profit-taking as traders refocused on above-normal crude and heating oil inventories.