Oil surges past 91 dollars in Asian trade

SINGAPORE, Oct 26, 2007 (AFP) – Oil surged past 91 dollars in Asian trade Friday on rising tensions in the Middle East following Turkey’s military threat against Kurdish rebels in Iraq and new US sanctions on Iran, dealers said. At 2:00 pm (0600 GMT) New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, had soared 1.01 dollars to 91.47 dollars per barrel from its close of 90.46 dollars in late US trades.

It touched a new all-time intra-day high of 91.50 dollars.

Brent North Sea crude for December was up 1.17 dollars to 88.65 dollars, also breaking records set in London overnight. It struck an intra-day high of 88.80 dollars.

“Now that oil is the 90s, it is much easier to reach 100 dollars. Anything can happen in this market,” said Tetsu Emori, a fund manager with Astmax in Tokyo.

He said OPEC hesitance to increase production and rising tensions in the Middle East were helping fuel price volatility.

“Shipping companies are saying that OPEC exports of crude oil are lower than they had expected. This is another factor pushing up prices at the moment,” he said.

Oil prices are “being supported by an increase in geopolitical tensions and also market developments,” Australia’s Comm