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Crude Oil Prices Soar in After-Hours Trading

U.S. crude oil prices have risen to another record high, passing $78 a barrel, as violence in the Middle East and Nigeria threatened supplies.

Crude oil for August delivery closed at a record $76.70 in New York Thursday. The price continued to rise in after-hours trading, hitting $78.40.

That is the highest price for oil since the New York Mercantile Exchange began the contract in 1983.

In early Asian trading Friday crude oil was at $77.95 a barrel.

Strong demand for oil leaves little unused oil production capacity anywhere in the world. The tight balance between supply and demand means any disruption in oil supplies could cause prices to soar.

Some information for this report provided by Bloomberg and AP.