Tight oil supplies, red-hot global demand and a weakening dollar will boost average oil prices to a record level next year, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.
Analysts raised their average 2008 oil price forecast for U.S. crude to $67 a barrel as many believe the current rally will continue well into next year. The forecast surpasses the record average of $66.24, reached in 2006.
"Behind the market tightening, we see global oil demand accelerating in the second half of this year and maintaining strong momentum through early 2008," said independent analyst Geoff Pyne of Enerpyltd.com.
Falling U.S. crude stocks, concern about storm damage to Gulf of Mexico oil installations,
a half-point cut in key U.S. interest rates and a weak dollar have pushed oil to a record
$83.90 a barrel this month.