Crude oil prices crept higher in New York Friday as traders began to discuss the notion that OPEC could be on the verge of cutting its output.

The oil-exporting group will meet next week, advancing what had been a planned November gathering, in order to discuss the tumble that has taken near-term crude contracts down 50% in just three months. Many market observers are expecting at least some curtailment in OPEC's production targets.

On Thursday, November-dated futures dropped $4.69 to $69.85, the first close below $70 in more than a year. Recently, light, sweet crude was up $1.35 to $71.20 a barrel. Brent was adding $1.05 to $68.89.

Heating oil was up 4 cents at $2.13 a gallon, and reformulated gasoline was gaining 4 cents to $1.66 a gallon. Natural gas was stronger by 16 cents at $6.86 per million British thermal units.

Among stocks, Schlumberger ( SLB) said third-quarter earnings climbed 7% to $1.5 billion, or $1.25 a share, as sales surged to $7.3 billion from $5.9 billion a year earlier. Shares were lower by 6%, however.

Major integrateds BP ( BP), ConocoPhillips ( COP) and Chevron ( CVX) were rising, but Exxon Mobil ( XOM) slipped.

The U.S. Oil ( USO) ETF, which tracks crude prices, was little changed.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.

If you liked this article you might like

How to Invest in Oil

How to Invest in Oil

Dow and S&P 500 Post New Records as Concerns Ebb Over New York Explosion

Dow and S&P 500 Post New Records as Concerns Ebb Over New York Explosion

Oil Stocks Ready to Burst as Trump's Jerusalem Designation Stirs High Drama

Oil Stocks Ready to Burst as Trump's Jerusalem Designation Stirs High Drama

Stocks Tumble After Flynn Pleads Guilty, Agrees to Cooperate in Russia Probe

Stocks Tumble After Flynn Pleads Guilty, Agrees to Cooperate in Russia Probe

Crude Reality: There's a Reason Exxon and Other Oil Stocks Are Underperforming

Crude Reality: There's a Reason Exxon and Other Oil Stocks Are Underperforming