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Oil prices surge to record heights near $144

LONDON (AFP) – Oil prices hit record high points close to 144 dollars per barrel on Monday as the dollar fell further and amid a conference and protests staged in response to soaring crude, analysts said.

Brent North Sea crude reached a historic peak of 143.91 dollars a barrel and New York light sweet crude struck an all-time high of 143.67 dollars.

“The market remains well supported by the broad weakness in the dollar, ever increasing investor interest in commodities, persistent supply disruptions and geopolitical tensions,” Sucden analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov said on Monday.

Crude futures have doubled in the past year and have risen by almost 50 percent since the start of 2008, when they breached 100 dollars for the first time, triggering fears over inflation and slower economic growth.

Consumer countries blame record prices on tight supplies amid strong demand and unrest in producer countries such as Iran, Iraq and Nigeria. In particular, they accuse OPEC of not producing enough crude.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries insists that the weak dollar is at fault.


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