Oil futures surge as supplies fall sharply

Oil futures soared again Wednesday to a new record near $95 a barrel after the government reported another unexpected drop in crude oil inventories and the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a quarter point. Light, sweet crude for December delivery rose $4.15 to settle at $94.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after rising as high as $94.74, a new trading record. Crude prices are near inflation-adjusted highs hit in early 1980. Depending on the how the adjustment is calculated, $38 a barrel then would be worth $96 to $101 or more today. In its weekly inventory report, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said oil supplies fell by 3.9 million barrels last week. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, on average, had expected an increase of 100,000 barrels.