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Oil Prices Reach Record Highs for Second Day in a Row

Crude oil prices have again hit record highs. The spike in prices Wednesday came after a U.S. government report said inventories of crude oil and gasoline declined last week.

The Bloomberg financial news service says U.S. crude oil briefly jumped to $71.79 a barrel before easing slightly. In Britain, Brent crude rose to equal Tuesday's record high of $72.64.

Analysts say prices are being pushed up by worries that oil supplies from Iran and Nigeria might be disrupted by political disputes. These concerns come at a time of strong demand for oil in the United States, China, and other big nations.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.