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Oil prices fell sharply in afternoon trading to below $130 a barrel as uncertainty about the overall trend for the commodity continued.
U.S. crude oil futures ended lower for the second day in a row as government inventory data showed surprise increases in crude and gasoline stocks.
The world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia wants to see lower oil prices, Saudi King Abdullah said in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
Oil prices fell harder than they have in 17 years on a dollar basis Tuesday, as fears that record fuel prices are spreading broad economic pain led to the third big sell-off in just over a week.
Oil rose slightly above $145 Monday as supply concerns in Brazil in the midst of an energy workers strike outweighed ongoing worries that high fuel costs are dragging down consumer nation demand.
U.S. crude oil futures ended more than 2 percent higher as geopolitical and supply worries combined to lift prices to an all-time high.
Oil prices jumped nearly $6 to above $141 a barrel Thursday amid threats to production in Nigeria and Brazil and as additional missile tests by Iran escalated tensions with the West.
Oil prices regained ground and headed above $137, but still were below session highs, despite a larger-than-expected draw in crude inventories.
Oil tumbled to near $136 on Tuesday as the dollar gained and concern eased over an Atlantic hurricane.
Oil dropped almost $4 a barrel on profit-taking and signals that Iran will be more flexible in negotiations over its nuclear program.
Oil dropped below $145 a barrel on Friday, but was still within sight of record highs reached in the previous session when traders bought into the market ahead of a holiday weekend in the United States.
Oil futures closed trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at a record above $145 a barrel, setting their third all-time high in as many consecutive days.
Oil prices hit another record settling price Wednesday, and then followed up on their close by reaching a record high over $144 a barrel in post-settlement trade, as a drop in U.S. crude inventories stoked supply concerns.
Sumitomo Corp, Japan's third-biggest trading house, said on Wednesday its consortium had won preferential rights to build and operate a $6 billion power and water desalination plant in Saudi Arabia.
Oil prices rose on Tuesday on forecasts that global supplies will struggle to keep pace with demand and concerns that tensions between Israel and Iran could lead to a disruption of exports from the OPEC nation.
Oil prices would not ease even if production were raised because speculation and taxes are behind the soaring market, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah was quoted as saying in a Kuwaiti newspaper on Tuesday.
The dramatic rise in oil prices is a bubble, famous turnaround investor Wilbur Ross told CNBC Monday, adding that there is no apparent supply problem with crude.
Oil slipped off a record high of more than $143 a barrel as weak U.S. demand countered mounting tensions between OPEC nation Iran and Israel.
Oil futures climbed to a new record near $143 a barrel Friday as the dollar weakened against the euro, confirming expectations that the falling greenback, a major factor in crude's stratospheric rise, will extend its decline and add to oil's appeal.
Oil futures shot above $140 Thursday after OPEC's president said oil prices could rise well above $150 a barrel this year and Libya said it may cut oil production.