LONDON (AFP) — World oil prices paused Wednesday close to record peaks, holding above 87 dollars in New York, as traders feared that more unrest in crude producer Iraq could further stretch global supplies.
New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, was unchanged at 87.61 dollars per barrel, after striking an historic 88.20 dollars in intraday trading on Tuesday.
Elsewhere Wednesday, London’s Brent North Sea crude for December delivery slipped six cents to 83.49 dollars. The November contract expired Tuesday after hitting an all-time high of 84.49 dollars per barrel.
Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi has asked Turkey for time to tackle Kurd rebels based in northern Iraq, Anatolia news agency reported Wednesday.
Hashemi met Turkish leaders Tuesday on the eve of a vote in parliament expected to authorise a Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq against the rebels.
Many of Iraq’s largest oil fields are located in the north of the troubled country.
The United States has warned Turkey against unilateral action in northern Iraq which has been relatively stable while most of Iraq has been torn apart by conflict.
Meanwhile, the market was gearing up for Wednesday’s weekly snapshot of oil reserves in the United States, which is the world’s biggest energy consumer.