Oil prices hit new peak above $145
Oil prices broke through 145 dollars a barrel for the first time on Thursday, with Brent North Sea crude for August delivery at $145.01 in Asian trade.
The contract was up 75 cents from its close of $144.26 in London the previous day, when the contract surged through $144 for the first time.
New York's benchmark futures contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, was 70 cents higher at $144.27 a barrel from its record close of $143.57 on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday.
Analysts said a weaker US dollar, and data that revealed a drop in stockpiles of US crude, helped push prices higher.
The US Energy Information Administration said yesterday that stockpiles of crude had fallen by 2.0 million barrels in the week to June 27.
Global oil prices have doubled in the past year and have risen by 45 per cent since the start of 2008 when they breached 100 dollars for the first time, triggering fears over inflation and slower economic growth.
Protests against the soaring prices have also broken out around the world.