OPEC weekly oil price continues to rise

11:21, April 19, 2011      

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The weekly average oil price of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached 118.06 U.S. dollars per barrel last week, reaching a record high since the last week of July 2008, the Vienna-based cartel said Monday.

OPEC's daily oil price reached 120.30 U.S. dollars a barrel Monday, hitting a new daily record since August 4, 2008.

After getting its peak on Monday, oil prices went down, falling to 116.70 dollars per barrel on Wednesday, and fluctuating around 118 dollars afterwards.

Market analysts said the high oil prices are likely to continue for some time as violence and unrest in the Arab world show little signs of abating.

Saudi Arabia's oil minister said the current oil price hikes were not due to short supply of crude oil, but to fears for insufficient supply.

Mohammad Bin Zaen al-Hameli, energy minister of the United Arab Emirates, said Sunday that the total oil supply at the moment could meet market demand, and the rise in oil prices is in large part due to geopolitical changes and market speculation.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said oil demands of the United States, China and other oil consumers are expected to drop.

Meanwhile, the People's Bank of China has decided to raise bank reserve ratio again to cool down the economy.

However, oil prices could continue to go up as recent positive figures of the U.S. economy strengthened market confidence in an economic rebound.

The IEA also said the nuclear accident in Japan could lead to a daily demand growth of 1.5 million barrels this year in crude oil.

Source: Xinhua
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