Crude prices hit six-month highs

Oil prices hit six-month highs of $25 a barrel (bbl) in March as a combination of rising demand, continued supply curbs and fears of US action against Iraq drove prices up.

Aaron Brady, manager, global product market analysis at Boston-based research firm Energy Security Analysis Inc (Esai), says it is hard to quantify how much the recent price increases are due to continued speculation that the US government will extend its war on terrorism to Iraq or to fundamentals of supply and demand. Bu