SINGAPORE (AFP) — World oil prices were flat in Asian trade on Monday after concerns over a Gulf of Mexico storm eased, dealers said.
New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, was six cents lower at 81.60 dollars a barrel in late morning trade.
The contract reached 81.66 dollars in late United States trades on Friday.
Brent North Sea crude for November delivery was off three cents at 79.20 after it rocketed above 81 dollars a barrel for the first time in London on Friday, owing to concerns over stretched global energy supplies.
Prices had begun surging on Thursday as traders watched a new storm in the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane Lorenzo barrelled ashore from the Gulf of Mexico but rapidly lost its punch. Three people were reported killed in Mexico.
"I guess with the storm out of the way you would expect the tension to come out of the market," said Jason Feer, Asia-Pacific vice president of energy market specialists Argus Media in Singapore.
The Gulf of Mexico is a leading oil-producing region for the United States and Mexico. Investors worry about storm damage to oil rigs and other infrastructure during the long Atlantic hurricane season that ends in November.
New York crude oil prices broke the 80-dollar barrier for the first time on September 12 as the market fretted over declining US reserves and a tropical storm in the Gulf.
The New York price then soared even higher to touch an all-time intra-day record of 84.10 dollars later in September.
Analysts said the record-breaking run for oil in the past week was not explained by market fundamentals, and that it appeared more speculative money was pouring in.
"Prices have seemingly moved inexplicably," Eric Wittenauer at AG Edwards said earlier.
"I think you're going to see oil kind of bouncing around," Feer said.
The sliding dollar has also buoyed oil prices. A weak US unit makes dollar-denominated commodities cheaper for buyers with stronger currencies.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »