Oil falls from record highs

London - Oil crude futures on retreated further from record high levels of almost 140 dollars a barrel, reached in trading yesterday.

New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, shed 13 cents to 134.48 dollars per barrel, as the European trading day began, by 11.30am BST it was $1.33 lower at 133.28 dollars/barrel.

It had struck a record high point of 139.89 dollars on Monday despite news that Saudi Arabia was ready to raise output to help cool soaring energy costs threatening economic growth.

Brent North Sea crude for August delivery eased 16 cents to 134.51 dollars a barrel on Tuesday, a day after striking a life-time high of 139.32 dollars.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday blamed soaring crude futures on the sliding dollar, which makes commodities priced in the US unit cheaper for foreign buyers.

"The rise in consumption is lower than the rise in production," Ahmadinejad told a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (Opec’s) fund for international development.

"The market is well supplied but prices are rising and this situation is artificial and imposed" by world powers, he added.

Ahmadinejad’s comments came ahead of a meeting on Sunday organised by Opec kingpin Saudi Arabia in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, to bring together major oil producers and consumers to discuss surging crude prices.