Oil prices continue to break records

| 7/14/2006

Oil prices hit record levels for the third time in less than a week as they soared above $78 per barrel on Friday, July 14.

Light, sweet crude hit a high of $78.40 per barrel in midday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange before settling back down closer to the $76 mark.

The Associated Press reported that concerns over possible supply disruptions because of increasing violence in the Middle East caused the price to spike.

While neither Israel nor Lebanon is a major oil suppliers, The AP reported that the fear is that the conflict could spread to the rest of the region and affect supplies.

Fears over the standoff with Iran , continuing strife in Nigeria and the threat of hurricanes to the U.S. oil supply were also mitigating factors.