Page last updated at 22:15 GMT, Thursday, 8 May 2008 23:15 UK

Crude oil climbs to fresh record

Oil rig
Oil prices have risen relentlessly this year

The price of a barrel of crude oil has reached another record high in both London and New York.

US light crude added 16 cents to settle at $123.69 in New York trading, but in after-hours trade hit $124.61 a barrel.

Meanwhile in London, Brent crude settled 52 cents up at $122.84 a barrel, a settlement record.

Concerns over supply, forecasts of higher world energy demand and the weak value of the dollar have all been factors pushing up oil prices.

Earlier this week a report by Goldman Sachs said the price of crude oil could reach $200 a barrel in as little as six months, as supplies tighten.

On Thursday energy producer group Opec reiterated however that energy supplies were adequate for the time being.

But on Wednesday, official figures showed energy stocks in the US had fallen, contradicting expectations of a rise.

The US Energy Information Administration said domestic distillate stocks - such as heating oil and diesel fuel - dropped 100,000 barrels last week, to 105.7 million barrels while analysts foresaw a 800,000-barrel rise.

Chevron's shares climbed 2.2% to $97.44 on the New York Stock Exchange and Exxon Mobil rose 1.3%.

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