Updated from 10:33 a.m. EST
Crude oil prices closed moderately higher Monday, having briefly touched $50 a barrel last week.
The January futures contract gained 32 cents at $49.76 a barrel in floor trading on the Nymex.
Prices have rebounded somewhat lately, after a sharp correction during the first three weeks of November. In October, the benchmark U.S crude hit a record high of $55.17 a barrel.
Traders have been keeping a close eye on heating oil supplies ahead of the winter season. Weekly inventory data out last week showed another increase in U.S. supplies ahead of the peak-demand period.
Traders are also already speculating on the outcome of OPEC's next meeting, in Cairo on Dec. 10. Some of the cartel's members are reportedly pushing for a cutback in the official production ceiling after three increases since July.