In early trading, the price of West Texas Intermediate oil fell back to $133.76 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, compared with the all-time record of $139.12 set on 6 June.

Earlier in the week, Saudi Arabia announced that it would convene a meeting in Jeddah on 22 June to find a solution to record oil prices and investigate the role of speculators in financial markets.

New-York based energy analysts Citi Futures Perspective said that, while the debate over the effect of speculation on crude prices continued, the relationship between the flagging US dollar and oil prices was still a major risk factor.

Citi said that, since August 2007, its US dollar index has declined by 9.1 per cent, compared with a 92 per cent rise in oil prices.

Tim Evans, energy analyst for Citi Futures Perspective, said: “We see this 10-to-1 response as a real risk factor for the rally, since at some point a further gain in the dollar could puncture the crude oil’s balloon.””