As the summer driving season moved up a gear in Europe, oil ended the week by jumping five dollars. Brent and US light crude both touched new record highs near $147 a barrel.
Behind the spurt were growing worries of threats to supplies from Iran and Nigeria and the possibility of a strike by Brazilian oil workers next week. In London, the price of Brent crude has risen by almost $30 a barrel in just the last two months. It is at the highest since trading began in 1988.
In the face of geopolitical factorsand investors flocking to commodities, increased production seems to be having little effect.
Saudi Arabia has boosted the amount of crude its pumping to its highest rate in three decades in an effort to tame oil prices, but Qatar’s Oil Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah said he is seeing no demand for the additional crude that Saudi Arabia had pledged.