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Oil Prices Hit Record High in Afternoon Trading


Crude oil prices briefly rose to a record $80 a barrel in New York Wednesday before easing back down.

Today's price climb followed a U.S. government report that showed crude oil inventories fell by more than seven million barrels last week.

Oil prices already were rising despite a decision by the international oil cartel, OPEC, to raise its output quota.

On Tuesday, OPEC members meeting in Vienna agreed to increase output by 500,000 barrels a day, to ease doubts about dwindling oil supplies. But the modest increase was not sufficient enough to change the direction of the oil markets.

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