Updated from 2:28 p.m. EST
Crude oil prices closed higher for the second session in a row Thursday, amid a steep six-week correction.
The January futures contract gained 59 cents at $42.53 in regular floor trading on the Nymex.
Traders were looking ahead to OPEC's meeting in Cairo Friday, when members of the cartel will discuss production levels. There's already been market speculation that the cartel is considering a reduction in supply to head off any possible collapse in prices. The benchmark U.S. crude is down about 25% since closing at a record high of $55.17 on Oct. 26. OPEC raised production by a total of 2.5 million barrels a day since July, when prices were hitting record highs on a regular basis.
Prices began a rapid and steep correction in early November as U.S. production in the Gulf of Mexico rebounded from widespread disruption from Hurricane Ivan in September. Prices fell 14% alone last week.
In addition, recent inventory data -- including those released Wednesday -- showed a healthy supply of heating oil ahead of the winter season. Unseasonably warm weather has also tempered demand.