Crude oil prices surged above $50 a barrel in New York on Tuesday, amid cold weather, a falling dollar, and uncertainty about oil supplies.
The Bloomberg financial news service says crude oil for March delivery rose nearly $2 to hit $50.05 a barrel in late morning trading.
Analysts said colder-than-normal weather in key heating oil markets in Europe and the United States was one factor in boosting both demand and prices.
They also said traders are concerned that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries might cut production quotas further at a meeting next month.
The declining value of the U.S. dollar also played a role in boosting prices because international oil transactions are generally priced in dollars.
Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.