SINGAPORE, Sept 18, 2007 (AFP) – Oil prices topped 81 dollars a barrel for the first time on Tuesday, setting another record high amid fears of critically tight supplies for the winter season in the United States. OPEC’s announcement last week that it would pump an extra 500,000 barrels per day from November has failed to stop the surge in price, with some analysts predicting it could keep soaring to 85 dollars and beyond.
New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for October delivery, jumped 46 cents to 81.03 dollars in Singapore trade at 9:52 am (0152 GMT).
The jump followed a run overnight in New York, when the contract spiked 1.47 dollars to 80.57 dollars per barrel after an earlier intra-day high of 80.70.
“The door to 80 has been opened,” said Victor Shum, senior principal at Purvin and Gertz Inc.
He said the mood had changed Monday as speculators drove up the price over concerns about tight supply in the winter months.
“In the near-term, the market has limited downside supply risks,” he said.
Brent North Sea crude for November delivery was 10 cents higher at 77.08 dollars a barrel.
Abdalla Salem El-Badri, chief of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Cou