Energy futures are trading mixed today on a stronger dollar, with the US Dollar Index gaining 0.61% to 75.618 in European trade, and following mixed signals by OPEC on a potential output increase at the cartelâs meeting next week on Dec. 5. The Saudi oil minister, al Naimi, reiterated today that global oil inventories are at comfortable levels above the five year average (contradicting comments by U.S. Energy Secretary Bodman last week who said that OECD inventories were 100M barrels below the 5 year average) and that OPEC needs to look at data before deciding on whether it needs to increase output further. Additionally, al Naimi said that the Kingdom has spare capacity of 2.3M b/d and this will be increased to 2.8M b/d by December. It is worth noting that the Financial Times reported today, citing two industry officials familiar with OPEC policy, that some Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, were pushing for a production increase. Also regarding OPEC, the producing groupâs President, al Hamli, said today, according to Dow Jones, that the oil market is well supplied, though OPEC is willing to supply more to the market. Al Hamli added that OPEC has spare capacity of 3M b/d, suggesting that other OPEC members only have 700K b/d of spare capacity. Interestingly, Libyaâs top oil official, Ghanem, said today in an interview with Bloomberg that OPEC is already producing all the oil it can sell and has âno big roomâ to increase output further because OPEC is meeting demand. Lastly, Qatarâs oil minister said today that the market is well supplied and that he has not been informed of any plan to increase output. The WSJ Europe wrote today that âthis weekâs drop in oil prices may mean crude is set to turn away from $100 a barrel amid gloomy U.S. economic forecasts and hints OPEC would agree next week to boost output.â However, the paper writes that analysts say even if oil prices decline, they are likely to be higher next year on average than this year. In other energy news, Royal Dutch Shell shut the Cormorant Alpha oil platform in the North Sea yesterday after two power generators failed. A company spokesman said today that the rig remains shut as a precaution. On the weather front, Accuweather wrote today that a fast-moving Alberta Clipper that will dump several inches of snow from the upper Great Lakes to Quebec will open the door for an influx of cold air into the Northeast. For the Midwest, the forecaster said that the coldest air of the season will spread south and east over the next 10 to 15 days. Additionally, the increasing cold this weekend could be a major ingredient in a bigger winter storm that could spread significant snow from the central Rockies across the Great Plains to the Upper Midwest. Yesterday Weather Derivatives predicted that temperatures nationwide would be 0.6 degrees below normal over the next 7 days and 4.1 degrees and 4.4 degrees below normal, respectively in the Northeast and North-central. Over the next 6-10 days, WD forecasted temps nationally to be 2.9 degrees below normal, 10.2 degrees below normal in the Northeast and 7.5 degrees below normal in the North-central. Today at 10:30 a.m. EST the EIA releases its weekly petroleum data. According to a major wire survey, crude inventories are expected at -1.0M barrels, gasoline inventories are +500K barrels and distillate inventories at -1.2M barrels. The refinery utilization rate is seen up 0.55%. At 12:15 p.m. WTI crude futures are up $0.15 to $94.56. Jan. RBOB gasoline futures are higher by .85 cents at $2.3800 and heating oil futures are gaining 1.26 cents to $2.6705. Natural gas futures are down 9.1 cents to $7.726. The above commentary is provided to subscribers of Ransquawk's recently launched energy channel. The energy channel is a real-time audio news service covering U.S. energy markets and major NYMEX products. To sign up for a free 1 week trial, e-mail us at email@example.com with your contact details. Why Subscribe? Ransquawkâs Energy Channel is the first real-time audio news service specifically catered toward energy traders. We offer unmatched content from top energy sources and technical information in real-time, giving traders an edge from a fundamental and technical perspective.