An energy analyst says momentum has built up to "cause a wave of buying." Oil prices surged to a record midday high of just under 71
dollars a barrel in Asian trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange before easing back. Brent Crude hit a record in Europe.
In Asia, crude oil prices rose briefly to 70-dollars-88-cents a barrel, breaking the record of 70-85 set just after Hurricane Katrina hit last August.
Light, sweet crude for May delivery eventually settled back to 70-dollars-75-cents a barrel, up 35 cents from yesterday.
Meanwhile, Brent crude for June delivery at London's ICE Futures exchange was 69 cents higher at 72-dollars-15-cents a barrel, setting a fresh all-time high.
Analysts say oil prices are likely to climb further as long as geopolitical risks in Iran and Nigeria pose threats to supply at a time when global demand remains strong and supplies remain tight.
Meantime, the price at the gas pump has soared by about a ten cents a gallon in just a week. It's up more than 54 cents from the same time last year.