Oil climbed to a life-time high above a barrel on Wednesday, driven higher by a combination of long-term production worries and a near-term focus on tight fuel stocks. A United States government report later on Wednesday was expected to show crude inventories rose for a fifth straight week.
Ministers of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) on Wednesday agreed to keep oil output steady and said record high prices had been driven by factors that were beyond their control. United States crude hit a record of ,95 a barrel on Monday and was trading above on Wednesday.
Opec ministers are poised to hold output steady at a meeting on Wednesday, resisting pressure from top consumer the United States to pump more oil to help prop up a fragile economy. Opec has said triple-digit oil has been driven by factors beyond its control, such as a weak dollar and speculation and not by any lack of fuel.