Just missing predictions that it would happen before the end of the year, oil futures prices passed $100 per barrel today before falling back to around $99.15.
Analysts cite a combination of factors, including violence in Nigeria, Turkish attacks against Kurds in Norhern Iraq, political instability in Pakistan following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, and severe weather in the Gulf of Mexico.
However, the underlying tight supply situation is behind the general run-up in prices since 1999. Without any spare production capacity in oil markets, every incident has an exaggerated effect on prices among panicky traders.
This will only worsen as global demand continues to grow but production rates go into permanent decline over the next few years.
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