Oil prices rose $2 today on growing signs that OPEC will announce production cuts at a special meeting in Vienna this week in a bid to shore up the revenues of member countries, dealers said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, jumped $2.09 to $73.94 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for December delivery climbed $2.02 to $71.62 a barrel.

Crude prices have halved in value from record highs of above $147 struck in July, prompting calls from key OPEC members that the oil cartel should cut its output targets to help to lift prices when it meets in the Austrian capital on Friday.

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela was the latest to lend his support for an output cut by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), whose member countries together pump about 40% of the world's oil.

The cartel's special ministerial meeting in Vienna on the impact of the financial crisis on oil prices has been brought forward from its original planned date of November 18.

OPEC, led by the world's biggest oil exporter Saudi Arabia, has not officially indicated whether production levels would be altered at the meeting but its current chief Chakib Khelil said the cartel should order a 'substantial' cut.