Crude oil prices rose to an eight-month high above $73 a barrel in Asian trade today, helped by a weak dollar and attacks on Nigerian oil installations.
Light sweet crude for August delivery hit a high of $73.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was up $1.05 at $72.54 a barrel by late afternoon Singapore time.
The contract closed at $71.49 a barrel, still up $2.33 from the previous close.
Crude oil prices have more than doubled from its March lows of around $35 a barrel helped by expectations of a global economic recovery led by the US and supported by the emerging economies.
Oil prices also gained from another round of attacks by Nigerian militants on foreign oil installations, which forced the shut-down of a Royal Dutch Shell offshore oil platform.
Crude prices also were boosted by fuel price hikes by state-run Chinese firms amidst indications that China plans to increase its strategic crude oil reserves by 60 per cent over the next five years.
Prices rose amidst rising trade volume, which traders said, was about four times the normal volume in Asia.