Crude weakens on Saudi comments, Ike

Crude weakened mid-morning Tuesday as Saudi Arabia's oil minister said supplies are sufficient to meet demand, raising speculation that OPEC will maintain production levels when it meets today.

Oil also declined as Hurricane Ike weakened to Category 1. Ike was moving to the west-northwest across southern Cuba at 13 mph and is forecast to enter the southeastern Gulf late tonight.

The oil market is "well balanced" and inventories are "healthy," Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said in Vienna when he arrived for today's meeting.

Whether the likes of Venezuela, Iran, Nigeria & Angola see things quite the same way as the Saudis remains to be seen.

At 10.40am October crude was $1.41 lower at $141.93/barrel.