Oil prices hit intraday record near 120 dollars

SINGAPORE, April 28, 2008 (AFP) – World oil prices hit an intraday record near 120 dollars a barrel on Monday after the shutdown of a major North Sea pipeline added to supply worries, analysts said. New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, touched 119.93 dollars a barrel in electronic deals and was later trading in Asia 83 cents higher at 119.35 dollars.

The contract closed 2.46 dollars higher at 118.52 dollars a barrel on Friday at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent North Sea crude for June delivery rose 93 cents to 117.27 dollars a barrel after a rise of 2.00 dollars to 116.34 dollars on Friday, when the contract hit a record intraday peak of 117.56 dollars.

“Supply worries have pushed oil prices higher since Friday, and will remain the dominant influence on prices in the near term,” said David Moore, a commodity strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney.

Britain on Sunday shut down a North Sea pipeline which supplies 40 percent of its oil and gas, sparking panic-buying of petrol after a strike at a major refinery.

The start of a two-day walkout by around 1,200 workers at the Grangemouth refinery, west of Edinburgh