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Crude oil heading to $200 a barrel?

by Mark Kleis

Could crude oil top $200 a barrel? Some analysts think it will in the next 12 months.

Some analysts say that crude oil could be headed to $200 a barrel this year, a price point that could have major implications for the global economy.

Currently, a barrel of Brent crude oil runs about $123, which is well up from its 12-month low of $96 and nearly double its three-year low. But CNBC says that an increasingly tight supply could be pinched even further when the summer driving season begins over the next few weeks in the United States. That could help push oil above $200 a barrel for Brent crude, the CNBC report suggests.

Major oil sources in Libya are back online after months of unrest and Saudi Arabia is pumping oil at its highest rate in three decades, but global demand continues to drive prices up, analysts say. Whether the U.S. will release more oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserves as it did last year is unknown, although the effect felt last year at pumps was short-lived.