Oil soars past $146
Oil surged past $146 per barrel for the first time yesterday as the weak US dollar and Middle East tension stoked black gold's record-breaking run, analysts said.
Brent North Sea crude for August delivery climbed 1.06 dollars to 145.32 dollars from its record close of 144.26 in London on Wednesday, when it broke the 144 level for the first time.
New York's benchmark contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, hit an intra-day record price of 144.61 dollars. By late afternoon, it was 96 cents higher at 144.53 against a record close of 143.57 dollars in the US Wednesday.
The latest surge followed a warning from Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari that his country, a key crude 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 told reporters 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 Iran's oil output, would rise radically if Israel or the United States launched a military strike.