In New York the price of light sweet crude for November delivery climbed to an all-time peak of $US50.47 per barrel, the highest level since oil began trading on the New York market in 1983, before closing, up 26 cents to $US49.90 dollars.
In London the price of reference Brent North Sea crude oil for delivery in November scaled a new summit of $US46.80 dollars in electronic trading, the highest level since trading on the London market began in 1980, before closing at $US46.45 dollars, a rise of 32 cents.
The latest surge in prices has been attributed to unrest in Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, the constant stream of Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the dwindling ability of Yukos to meet its contracts.
In Jakarta, the president of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, said earlier today: "Right now, OPEC cannot do anything (to curb the price rise) and the high oil price can cause a recession."
Speaking to reporters at the 10th Energy Conference on Gulf Oil and Gas, Qatari minister Abdullah said, “There are no political strings attached to the high oil in the international markets, but it is more a market manipulated situation for which OPEC cannot be held responsible. The current high oil process [does] not reflect the supply and demand situation nor the availability of this very important natural source of energy.”
“I do not think there is any kind of oil shortage, there are no long queues at gas stations,” added Abdullah who also stressed the need for the Gulf oil-producing nations to provide regular supplies of oil to the consumer markets.
Nevertheless OPEC struck back at record oil prices with promises of putting an extra 1.5 million more barrels per day (bpd) on the world market.
Saudi Arabia will increase oil production capacity to 11 million bopd, Saudi oil minister Ali al-Nuaimi said today.