Oil prices ease after hitting US$114

SINGAPORE, April 16, 2008 (AFP) – Oil prices eased in Asian trade on Wednesday after a series of record highs driven by supply worries, dealers said. In morning trade, New York’s main oil contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, was 30 cents lower at 113.49.

The contract earlier topped 114 dollars a barrel for the first time, hitting 114.08, after floor trading closed on Tuesday at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent North Sea Crude for June delivery was 38 cents lower at 111.20 dollars a barrel.

Brent for May expired on Tuesday at a record 111.31 dollars a barrel after reaching an intraday high of 112.08 dollars.

Analysts said gains were underpinned by expectations that an inventory report from the US Department of Energy (DoE), due later Wednesday, would show further declines in US gasoline and heating oil inventories.

Recent production stoppages have added to supply worries, analysts said. .