Oil prices break record . again

| 7/13/2006

Tensions in the Middle East, an explosion in Nigeria and news of low crude stocks in the U.S. combined in a perfect storm Thursday, July 13, sending oil prices to a record high above $76 a barrel.

Light, sweet crude hit a high of $76.80 in midday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

CNN reported that tensions between Israel and Lebanon, combined with Iran’s refusal to abandon its quest for nuclear technology ratcheted up the situation in the Middle East.

And in Nigeria, the world’s eighth-largest oil exporter, two suspected explosions along an oil pipeline caused massive spills and disrupted supplies.

Meanwhile, a report from the U.S. Department of Energy showed that crude oil inventories fell by 6 million barrels as imports fell by almost a million barrels a day, CNN reported.