Oil Hits 2015 Highs As Libya Output Slows, Saudis Raise Prices


NEW YORK, May 5 (Reuters) - Oil prices hit their highest for the year on Tuesday, aided by a disruption in Libyan crude exports, higher selling prices for Saudi oil and a weaker dollar that tends to inflate commodity prices.

Since April's price rally of between 20 and 25 percent, oil bulls have been pushing the market up on the notion that a supply glut was easing from tightening world production despite continuous builds in U.S. crude stockpiles.

U.S. crude settled up $1.47 at $60.40 a barrel, after hitting a 2015 high of $61.10.

Brent, a more widely-used oil benchmark, settled up$1.07 to $67.52, after scaling the year's peak at $68.40.

Still, some were not convinced the recent price gains would have much staying power.

"I think the market is getting ahead of itself," said Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in New York.

"There's plenty of producer hedging going on as well, and those production levels are not going to come down if demand projections are not met. This could simply mean we are setting ourselves up for another leg lower in prices," Chirichella said.


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