Oil prices reach new record high

oil2.jpgThe price of oil has continued its surge upwards – hitting a new high of $145 a barrel in trading in Singapore.

London Brent crude rose by 74 cents to $145.00 in early Asian trade. Light sweet crude rose 81 cents to $144.38.

The rises follow earlier highs recorded in London and New York after
the US government announced its oil stockpiles fell more than expected
last week.

Global oil prices have doubled in the past year and risen by 45% since the start of 2008.

A combination of the weak US dollar, surging demand and concerns about
supply disruptions in the Middle East and Africa have forced prices up.

This latest surge comes amid escalating tensions between the US and Iran.

Iran would respond "fiercely" to any attack against it, Foreign
Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said on the sidelines of the World
Petroleum Congress in Madrid.

Top officials have been discussing measures to combat high prices and
to increase long-term supplies at the meeting in the Spanish capital.