National oil prices are above $50 per barrel for the first time since last summer. That's almost double what it was at the beginning of the year. So will these prices last?
West Texas Intermediate closed at $50 and 50 cents today, yesterday the price was even higher, at more than 51 dollars per barrel. There are many determining factors going into the recent increase.
Oil prices are creeping closer to a price point that will make it cost effective to drill in Bakken.
"Fifty dollars has become this equilibrium number after the free fall we experienced in the winter time," said Eugene Graner, Heartland Investor Services.
Several factors are influencing this upward trend. Supply disruptions in Nigeria and indications of a potential increase in global demand for oil.
Graner said, "As we move forward are we going to see the usage for gasoline be substantially larger than last year so we can draw down available supplies that have been stored all winter?"
A weakened U.S. dollar also plays a key role in the price increase, an upcoming meeting with the federal reserve could change that.
"If they do not raise interest rates, that will cause the U.S. dollar to continue to soften and for those that understand that relationship, if the dollar goes down, commodities go up," said Graner.
Graner says this could mean oil prices could slowly rise to $55 to $60 a barrel.
Other unforeseen events that could produce spikes in the price of a barrel of oil in the coming months are refinery outages or hurricanes in the gulf.