LONDON  - The price of oil set a record high to $147 a barrel here on Thursday owing to falling reserves of US crude, simmering tensions over Iran and a weak dollar, traders said. In reaction, Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi said his country, the world's leading exporter of crude, was "concerned" about soaring prices. Brent North Sea oil for August delivery surged to a lifetime peak of $146.69 a barrel in morning trade after breaching $146 for the first time earlier on Thursday. New York's main oil contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, leapt to an all-time pinnacle of 145.85 dollars on Thursday. "There is actually a chance we could see 150 dollars today (Thursday)," said the latest Schork Report on energy markets. Brent oil later stood at 146.34 dollars, up 2.08 dollars from Wednesday's close. New York crude was up 1.98 at 145.55 dollars. Oil prices, which have doubled in value over the past year, were partly driven by news that American crude stockpiles fell by 2.0 million barrels to stand at 299.8 million barrels in the week to June 27. The US government's Energy Information Administration had also revealed Wednesday that crude inventories were 15.3 percent lower than at the same stage one year ago. "It was the first time inventory fell below the psychologically critical 300-million-barrel threshold since January," said PetroMatrix analyst Olivier Jakob. The latest record-breaking price surge also came after Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said that Iran would react fiercely to any military attack against the oil exporter. The OPEC oil exporting group said on Thursday that it would be difficult to replace the crude output of Iran should the country face attack. "If something happened in Iran, it is difficult to replace (Iran's output of) 4.1 or 4.2 million barrels a day," OPEC secretary general Abdallah el-Badri told the daily newsletter of the World Petroleum Congress in Madrid. There has been a surge in speculation recently that Israel might be planning a military strike against Iran's nuclear sites.