The price of oil was little changed after dropping to less than $70 a barrel in New York on declines in the stock markets and the assumption that the country’s supplies have risen, Bloomberg reported.

Crude oil for September 2009 delivery traded at $69.53 a barrel, up $0.08, on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10.26am in Singapore. On 11 August, the contract dropped $1.15, or 1.6%, to settle at $69.45.

It was the fourth drop and the first time oil settled at less than $70 in August. In 2009 futures have advanced 56%.

Oil retreated as Asian shares dropped for the first time in three days and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index registered its biggest fall in more than a month.

Oil inventories in the US are expected to have increased 1 million barrels last week as refiners processed less crude, a Bloomberg survey of 12 analysts showed before a weekly government report.

The price of oil rose as high as $69.80 on 12 August after the American Petroleum Institute reported that US crude oil stockpiles dropped 1.42 million barrels to 348.5 million the previous week.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) increased its 2010 forecast for supply from outside the group by 210,000 barrels a day to 51.17 million barrels as tax incentives slow the output drop in Russia, the organisation said.

In the second quarter of 2009, Opec produced about 28.7 million barrels a day, little changed from the first quarter, the report showed.

The US Energy Department, in its monthly short-term energy outlook, forecast on 11 August that Opec output would increase in the remainder of the year, unless prices fall sharply.

The department cut its forecast for global oil demand this year to 83.76 million barrels a day, down 90,000 barrels a day from last month’s estimate. It also lowered its 2010 demand forecast by 90,000 barrels a day to 84.7 million.

Brent crude oil for September 2009 settlement on London’s ICE Futures Europe Exchange traded at $72.36 a barrel, down $0.10, at 10.28am in Singapore. The contract dropped $1.04, or 1.4%, to settle at $72.46 on 11 August.

Opec represents 30 industrialised nations, including the US, Japan and Germany. The group’s energy security adviser, the International Energy Agency, will release its monthly oil market report at 10am on 12 August in Paris.