Crude oil rose to an eight-month high as the US dollar dropped and militant attacks in Nigeria increased concern that supplies may be interrupted, Bloomberg reported.

Crude oil for August 2009 delivery gained as much as $1.89, or 2.6%, to $73.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

It was at $72.95 a barrel at 10.47am in Singapore. On 29 June the contract added $2.33 to settle at $71.49 a barrel.

Oil rose as much as 2.6% in New York, adding to yesterday’s 3.4% gain, as investors sought commodities as a hedge against inflation.

The dollar declined as much as 0.3% against major currencies on the hope that the world economy is recovering.

Royal Dutch Shell closed a field after an attack by Nigerian rebels, interrupting supply from the country.

Oil has risen 64% since the beginning of 2009. It bounced back from a low of $33.98 a barrel on 12 February 2009 on confidence that the global economic recession is easing.

A US Government report could prove that crude-oil inventories fell for the seventh time in eight weeks.

Supplies fell 1.6 million barrels in the week ended 26 June, according to the median of nine estimates by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has slashed its oil-consumption estimates for each year until 2013 by about three million barrels a day, the agency said in the Medium-Term Oil Market Report.

Utilisation will average 86.76 million barrels a day in 2012 and the first year demand will rise more than 2008’s level of 85.76 million, according to the IEA.

Brent crude oil for August 2009 settlement gained as much as $2.51, or 3.5%, to $73.50 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. On 29 June it rose $2.07, or 3%, to $70.99 a barrel.