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Crude oil climbs sharply

NEW YORK, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices rose to more than $47 a barrel Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, as traders expect production cuts to be announced.

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are to meet Dec. 17 in Algeria to discuss production cuts.

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia would also "protect ourselves ... and such protective measures could also be connected with cutting oil production volumes."

Crude oil prices gained $3.16 to $47.15 per barrel. Heating oil prices gained 0.0811 cents to $1.4927 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline rose 0.0813 cents to $1.0625 per gallon. Natural gas prices fell 0.134 cents to $5.568 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $1.664 Thursday, down from Wednesday's $1.683 a gallon, AAA said.

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