Oil futures settled today at $103.98 after reaching a high of $105.76 earlier in trading. On Friday, oil futures settled at $105.40 a barrel, the third consecutive day above $105, according to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group.
Continuing unrest in Libya as well as other North African and Middle Eastern countries has led to the highest crude oil prices since 2008. As a result, the US Energy Administration (EIA) has raised its forecast for the average cost of crude oil to refiners to $105 per barrel in 2011, $14 higher than its previous price estimate.
Some analysts say that despite slight price fluctuations over the next 6 months, consumers should get used to paying higher prices. Other analysts say that once the Middle East violence subside, the risk premium will fall, and that will decrease gas prices.