STEVENSON JACOBS
Associated Press
August 21, 2008

NEW YORK – Oil prices shot up $6 a barrel Thursday, rising to the highest level in over two weeks as escalating tensions with Russia stoked fears of a disruption of energy shipments to Western countries.

Crude’s rally mimicked the wild price swings seen last month and have at least temporarily halted oil’s slide back toward $100 a barrel. A weaker U.S. dollar and worries about tightening output from OPEC countries are also supporting prices.

Tensions with Russia about a deal between Washington and Poland to install a missile defense system in Eastern Europe — seen as a threat by Moscow — and the continued presence of Russian troops in Georgia contributed greatly to the bullish mood.

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