Crude oil prices briefly surged Tuesday to a record of $109 a barrel before easing back down, and the International Energy Agency warns that higher prices are here to stay.
The advisory agency said in its monthly report Tuesday that the world's economy is in an era of higher fuel prices, and that the price of oil is not likely to go back below $60 a barrel.
Oil prices have spiked numerous times over the past two weeks, breaking the record high twice on Monday alone.
Oil is priced internationally in dollars and it gains during a soft U.S. economy. A weak dollar also makes commodities attractive to buyers using stronger currencies.
Also Tuesday, the dollar briefly hit a new low of $1.55 against the euro before rebounding slightly.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.