Oil prices reached an 18-month high above $84 a barrel today.

For May delivery, US crude increased 68¢ to $84.44 a barrel by 8:00am GMT, while London ICE Brent climbed 66¢ to $83.36, according to Reuters.

US crude reached an intraday high of $84.54, settling at $83.76 a barrel on Wednesday, the highest close since October 2008.

US front-month crude oil rose 5.5% in the first quarter, its fifth consecutive gain.

Oil prices dipped briefly yesterday after government data showed US crude inventories rose to 354.2 million barrels last week, their ninth straight gain, while gasoline stockpiles made an unexpected gain.