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OPEC oil prices soars over $70

OPEC's daily average crude oil prices have risen to $70.22 per barrel, confirms the cartel's secretariat.
None | By Xinhua
UPDATED ON JUL 07, 2007 01:15 PM IST

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)'s daily average crude oil prices have risen to $70.22 per barrel, the cartel's secretariat said.

The rise in oil prices on Thursday marks the first time that OPEC oil prices have soared over $70 per barrel in 2007, OPEC officials said on Friday. OPEC's daily average oil prices reached a record high point of $72.67 per barrel last year.

OPEC's daily average oil prices reached this year's record high of $68.64 per barrel on Monday, but they continued to increase over the following four trading days.

According to OPEC statistics, average oil prices in the last four trading days stood at $69.54 per barrel.

Analysts believe the soaring oil prices should be attributed to the volatile security situation in Nigeria, an OPEC member, and the cartel's refusal to increase output in the near future.

Additionally, refineries in the US have begun to include crude oil inventories in winter heating oil stocks and gasoline stocks in Europe have reached the lowest point in the last two months, also squeezing prices.

These pressures were seemingly too strong for last week's increase in US gasoline stocks to make a dent in oil prices.

Analysts warned that the insufficient supply of crude oil in the market could drive the oil prices to a new high level.

Mohammed al-Hamli, OPEC's rotating president, said last week at the International Energy Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, that it was not necessary for OPEC to discuss an increase in production before the next ministerial conference in September.

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