LONDON (AFP) - Oil prices came off near record levels on Thursday after spiking close to 124 dollars as the OPEC cartel insisted that the market was well supplied and being driven by speculators, not real demand. Prices have rocketed by almost a quarter since the start of the 2008 on the back of tightening global supplies and the weak dollar, sparking international concern among consumer nations. On Thursday, New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for June delivery, fell 1.39 dollars to 122.14 dollars a barrel. On Wednesday, it had struck a record high 123.93 dollars. London's Brent crude contract hit a lifetime peak of 122.98 dollars in late afternoon European trade on Thursday before easing to 121.48 dollars, down 84 cents on Wednesday's close. OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri said Thursday that there was no shortage of crude oil, brushing aside US calls for higher output to dampen runaway prices. "In recent months, oil prices have become increasingly volatile, mainly driven by financial market developments and the increased flow of speculative funds into oil futures," El-Badri said in a statement to the press. "The turmoil in some global equity markets and the considerable depreciation in the US dollar have encouraged investors to seek better returns in commodities, particularly in the crude oil futures market. This has driven prices higher. "There is clearly no shortage of oil in the market," he said. "OPEC will continue to be proactive and monitor these developments closely. The Organization stands ready to act if the market shows a need for any further measures," he added. The 13-member Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries produces 40 percent of the world's oil, with current output at about 32 million barrels per day. Oil prices have crashed through records every day this week, jumping by about seven dollars in total. Sucden analyst Michael Davies said Thursday that for investors, "risks still remain and given recent comments from Goldman Sachs ... anything is possible in the oil market at the moment." US investment bank Goldman Sachs this week forecast that prices could hit 200 dollars in the next two years. The bank had famously and correctly predicted three years ago that oil would break through 100 dollars which it did in January. "Clearly the current spike in oil prices has been sharp and furious, and with little in the way of fresh impetus and lack of supporting (supply/demand) fundamentals a retracement must surely be on the cards," said Bank of Ireland analyst Paul Harris. "That said, in current conditions it is difficult to call exactly when the bearish (negative) elements will prevail. More importantly, the key issue is how far that pullback will be, with oil prices below 100 dollars a barrel at this stage a dim and distant memory," Harris added. Crude prices have also been buoyed by ongoing violence in Nigeria, Africa's largest producer, where attacks have cut production by about a quarter over the past two years.