Thursday, July 3, 2008
WORLD oil prices hit a new record high above $US145 per barrel today, as the market was energised by Middle East tensions, falling US crude reserves and the weak dollar, traders said.
Brent North Sea oil for August delivery surged to a life-time peak of 145.75 dollars at about 5am GMT (3pm AEST). The contract later stood at 145.33, up 1.07 dollars from the close yesterday.
New York’s main oil contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, also touched a record high at 144.61 dollars a barrel today. It later traded at 144.59 dollars, up 1.02 dollars from yesterday.
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The latest record-breaking price surge came after Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari had said yesterday that the key oil producer would react fiercely to any attack against it.
“Iran, if there were any kind of activity of any sort, is not going to be quiet and would react fiercely,” he said on the sidelines of the World Petroleum Congress in Madrid.
He said oil prices, which have been driven to record levels partly because of fears about the loss of Iranian output, would rise radically if Israel or the US launched a military strike.
Crude futures, which have doubled in value over the past year, were also driven by news that American crude stockpiles fell by 2.0 million barrels in the week to June 27.