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June 11, 2008

Crude to hit $150 in two months – experts

Oil experts on Tuesday tipped crude oil prices to surge to $150 a barrel in the next two months, citing factors including strong demand and speculation by commodities traders, reported Antara news agency.

Industry figures at the annual Asia Oil and Gas Conference also said prices could escalate to 180-200 dollars a barrel in the next four years.

"It will go to $150 a barrel in the short-term," Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman of oil consultancy Facts Global Energy said on the sidelines of the two-day conference.

"Fundamentally it can go to $180 to $200 a barrel by 2012 and 2013," he said, adding that while high prices have impacted on demand growth, new players have emerged.

"Demand in the US and many key Asian countries has stopped growing," he was quoted by AFP as saying in a conference paper. "China, India and the Middle East countries have locked in a demand growth of some one million barrels per day."

Fereidun, the conference chairman, said that price increases in the past two to three months "are all due to huge inflows of speculative money."

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