Singapore: World oil prices kept edging up on 4 July, with supply worries and the weak dollar still driving the market, analysts said.
New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, gained 18 cents to $145.47 a barrel from its record close of $145.29 on 3 July at the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract reached an intra-day record of $145.85.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for August delivery surged to a record $146.69 after breaching $146 for the first time in earlier trading. The contract subsequently settled up $1.82 at a record $146.08 on 3 July.
Oil has broken a series of price records this week, continuing the momentum begun at the start of the year when it broke through $100 for the first time.
The surge has triggered fears over inflation and slower economic growth, while sparking protests around the world.
Divisions between consumer and producer countries on who to blame appeared to sharpen at the World Petroleum Congress, which brought together political and corporate oil bosses in Madrid.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s leading exporter, expressed concerns about new records for benchmark crude and again said it was committed to dialogue between consumers and producers.
But those discussions show no sign of finding a solution to market tensions. Both sides cite different reasons: consumers underline supply shortage fears, while producers blame financial speculators and a falling US dollar.