Oil price goes above $100 a barrel

February 20th, 2008 - 11:39 am ICT by admin  

New York, Feb 20 (DPA) The price of crude oil has scraped above the $100-a-barrel mark in recent months, but for the first time it actually closed above the psychological ceiling. Prices settled at $100.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday, while futures reached $100.10 - the highest intra-day price since trading began in 1983.

Recent political tensions between the US and the world’s fifth largest oil exporter, Venezuela, were blamed for some of the upward price pressure.

Additional push came from speculators betting on a possible reduction in production by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

OPEC was set to meet in March 5, when it could reduce output as demand for winter heating wanes, according to oil ministers from Algeria and Iran over the past week.

An explosion at a refinery in the US state of Texas also contributed to the high prices, experts said.

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