The steadily rising price of oil has reached a new all-time record, with London Brent crude rising above $ 146 per barrel for the first time.
Brent rose by $ 2.43 to a top mark of $ 146.69, before falling back later in the day to $ 144.48. A barrel of Brent crude has thus risen by almost $ 4 since the beginning of the week.
US light sweet crude rose by 80 cents to $ 144.37, having reached already $145.85 earlier this week.
Oil prices, on the rise ever since the USA began their illegal war against Iraq in 2003, have jumped significantly again after the US government announced yesterday that its crude oil stockpiles had fallen by more than expected.
The Automobile Association (AA) has called the rate of increases "eye watering".
"The market can absorb a little increase on the forecourts, but nothing like this," their spokesman Paul Watters said.
Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev, speaking ahead of next week's G 8 meeting of leading industrialised nations, predicted that prices would climb easily to $ 150 a barrel.
"Unfortunately, rising oil prices create problems for the world's economy," he said.
Many companies across the world are suffering under the strain.
Air New Zealand has become the latest airline to say it "cannot continue to absorb the rising cost of jet fuel", which is now more than $ 170 a barrel. So the prices for domestic flights in New Zealand will rise by 3%, and international fares by 5%.
The Hong-Kong based airline Cathay Pacific issued a profit warning yesterday.
Dr. Chakib Khelil, president of the Organisation of oil-producing Countries (OPEC) blames the weakening of the US Dollar, which makes oil a more attractive investment.
Overnight the US Dollar traded at its lowest level against the Euro for more than two months, falling to $ 1.5891 per Euro.
The Emerald Islander