Oil prices have reached record levels.
On the London exchange (IPE). September futures for Brent crude have risen by 1.67 per cent to $40.64 per barrel. On the New York merchandise exchange (NYMEX), September futures for WTI crude jumped by 0.75 per cent to reach $44.15 per barrel. The price of Russian Urals crude (cif Mediterranean ports) on Tuesday increased by 1.5 per cent to amount to $38.44 per barrel.
Experts believe that growing oil prices are due to a series of factors. One of them is a recent statement by the OPEC president that the cartel lacks additional capacities for a rapid build-up of oil output to reduce market prices. The prices are also affected by the threat of terrorist attacks in the US, instability in the Middle East, and uncertainty about the future of Russia's Yukos oil company. In the view of some experts, the oil price may well reach $50 per barrel, particularly due to growing consumption of petroleum in China and India.