Oil prices have reached a new record high as tension over Iran’s nuclear ambitions dominates the market. US oil has climbed beyond 72 dollars a barrel as fears grow of possible military action against the Islamic Republic and a major Nigerian supply shortfall.
The last time prices peaked past 70 dollars was when Hurricane Katrina battered the US Gulf Coast. Many analysts believe it will be difficult for prices to fall too far, unless there is a significant drop-off in demand – but the prospects of that are bleak. OPEC ministers plan to consult informally this week at the International Energy forum in Doha, but it is thought the cartel is unlikely to take any action for the rest of the year if demand holds steady.