West Texas Intermediate dropped for a fourth day as crude inventories rose in the U.S., the worlds biggest oil consumer, and investors weighed the likelihood of OPEC cutting production.

Futures declined as much as 0.4 percent in New York. U.S. crude stockpiles expanded by 2.6 million barrels last week to 381.1 million, according to an Energy Information Administration report. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries should trim excess supply and reduce its production target, Libyas OPEC governor Samir Kamal said yesterday.

Oil has slumped into a bear market as the U.S. pumps at the highest rate in more than three decades amid signs of weakening demand. Leading OPEC members are resisting calls to reduce output as smaller producers such as Venezuela seek action to support prices before the Nov. 27 meeting in Vienna.

WTI for December delivery, which expires today, lost as much as 33 cents to $74.25 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $74.28 at 10:48 a.m. Sydney time. The more-active January contract slid 23 cents to $74.27. The volume of all futures traded was about 46 percent below the 100-day average. Prices have decreased 25 percent this year.

Brent for January settlement fell 37 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $78.10 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange yesterday. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $3.60 to WTI for the same month.

OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the worlds oil, pumped 30.97 million barrels a day in October, exceeding its collective output target of 30 million barrels for a fifth straight month, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Source : Bloomberg