Oil price crosses 115 dollars for first time on supply jitters

NEW YORK, April 16, 2008 (AFP) – Oil prices streaked into new record territory for the second straight day Wednesday, boosted by a decline in US energy reserves and as the weakening dollar drew investments in commodities. New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, crossed 115 dollars a barrel for the first time and hit 115.14 dollars in electronic trading after the market close.

The contract had settled up 1.14 dollars at a record close of 114.93 dollars earlier Wednesday, before surging higher in after-hours trading.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for June struck an intraday record high of 112.79 dollars a barrel before closing at a record 112.66 dollars, a gain of 1.08 dollars.

London Brent surged even higher in after-hours trading, however, striking a record peak of 112.83 dollars.

Both futures contracts had hit record highs Tuesday during trading and at the close as the market worried about tight supplies.

Those concerns were brought to the boil Wednesday by the weekly report from the US Department of Energy (DoE) that showed US energy stockpiles tumbled in the week ending April 11.

US crude inventories slumped by 2.3 million barrels last week compared