Singapore: World oil prices traded steady Monday near record highs after members of the Opec oil producers’ cartel rejected calls to raise output.
New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, was nine cents lower at $116.60 a barrel after closing at a record $116.69 on Friday at the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract earlier struck an intraday all-time peak of $117.
Brent North Sea crude for June delivery was five cents lower at $113.87 a barrel after closing at a record $113.92 on Friday in London. The contract had earlier reached an intraday high of $114.22.
Over the past week, the New York contract has risen $7 and Brent has climbed by more than $5.50, boosted by a weaker greenback and supply worries.
But Kuwait’s acting oil minister Sunday said supply and demand factors are not to blame for the soaring price of crude oil, while the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) president Chakib Khelil said there was no need for an immediate increase in production.
Separately, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Opec’s number two producer Iran, said Saturday that oil is priced too low and “should find its real value”.