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Oil soars to record above $117

Crude oil prices surged above $117, setting a new record high on Monday because of worries of supply disruptions from major producers and comments by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) reiterating there is no need to raise output.

United States light crude struck a record high of $117,40 a barrel. It was trading 43 cents higher at $117,12 by 8.45am GMT.

London Brent crude also struck its all-time peak of $114,65. It was trading at $114,37, up by 45 cents.

Opec sees no need to raise oil production to counter high oil prices, Opec’s president said on Sunday.

”No,” said Chakib Khelil, who is also Algeria’s Energy and Mines Minister, when asked by reporters whether Opec would raise production. He added that raising output would have no impact on prices as the market was well-supplied.

His remark came amid concerns over North Sea production due to an impending strike by workers at a refinery in Scotland and supplies from Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil exporter.

Scottish oil refinery Grangemouth has started to shut down ahead of a two-day strike later in April.

If the union goes ahead with the strike, it will effectively close down a part of the North Sea oil production and some gas output, refinery operator Ineos said in a statement on Saturday.

A Nigerian rebel group said on Friday it had sabotaged a major oil pipeline operated by Royal Dutch Shell and vowed to step up attacks on oil installations.

Officials at Shell, which is currently pumping 400 000 barrels per day below capacity in the Opec nation due to sabotage and security concerns, confirmed a small amount of production had been shut in.

”The spate of incidents has reminded the markets of the fragility of oil supplies,” said Sydney-based David Moore, a commodities analyst at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. — Reuters

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