NEW YORK, Dec 29 (Reuters): Oil prices jumped yesterday as analysts forecast US crude and distillates supplies would slip and on expectations that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries will cut output when it meets in January.
The US Energy Information Administration will release weekly petroleum supply data Thursday, a day later than normal, after Monday's Christmas holiday.
Analysts forecast that US crude supplies last week slipped 700,000 barrels, distillates supplies fell 800,000 barrels and gasoline supplies were steady.
The supply draw forecasts had an amplified upward effect on the market as many players were out in the week between the Christmas and New Year holidays, a trader on the floor said.
Refinery runs have been running below last year's levels following damage from hurricanes in August and September.
Prices are up more than a third since January and have averaged $56.66 a barrel, almost 37 per cent more than the 2004 average. Analysts forecast a price of $57.34 for 2006.