Middle East unrest could push oil to $220: Nomura (by Claudia Assis)
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Crude futures prices could peak above $220 a barrel if Libya and neighboring Algeria "were to halt oil production together," said Michael Lo, an analyst with Nomura. The closest comparison to current unrest in the Middle East and North Africa is the 1990-91 Gulf War, he added. The unrest could also reduce spare capacity of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to levels last seen during that war and in the summer of 2008, when prices hit $147 a barrel, Lo said. Crude-oil futures closed 2.8% higher at $98.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.