World oil took a breather on Monday from spiralling prices seen hitting $150 which have prompted consumer nations to urge a production increase amid warnings of a global recession.
New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, eased $1.06 to $137.48 a barrel after making its biggest one-day jump ever on Friday. The contract jumped 10.75$ a barrel to close at a record 138.54$.
Also on Friday in intraday trade the benchmark contract crossed 137, 138 and 139 dollars for the first time and soared to an all-time high of $139.12.
Brent North Sea crude for July dropped $1.30 to $136.39 a barrel after smashing barriers Friday in London. Brent hit a new intraday high of $138.12 a barrel before it eased back to settle at a record $137.69, up $10.15.
Both futures contracts far exceeded their prior record highs set on May 22 -- $135.09 in New York and $135.14 in London.
Crude oil leapt in reaction to a new decline in the US dollar after the European Central Bank on Thursday signalled an interest rate hike and the US reported a sharp rise in unemployment on Friday, analysts said.
Compounding the dollar squeeze were reported remarks about Iran's nuclear programme by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz. Analysts said the comments fanned fears of a Middle East conflict.
On Sunday, Iran's representative to the OPEC oil cartel warned the price of crude oil is set to rise even further to $150 a barrel by the end of summer.
Eleven nations that guzzle nearly two-thirds of the world's energy called Sunday for an urgent hike in global oil production.
Japan's energy minister Akira Amari, who hosted their meeting, warned the world could plunge into recession.