OIL UPDATE….Welcome to summer!

Crude oil jumped above $140 a barrel to a record as Libya threatened to cut output, OPEC’s president said prices may reach $170 by the summer and the dollar weakened.

….A decision by the ECB to increase interest rates in July may cause the dollar to decline and prompt investors to buy more oil, [Chakib] Khelil, who is also the Algerian oil minister, told the Paris- based television channel. Prices would ease toward the end of the year, he said.

Threats against Iran would also support prices during the summer, he said. A political crisis that would stop Iran’s oil production would push prices over $200 a barrel, to possibly $400 a barrel, he said.

On the bright side, Khelil doesn’t actually think a political crisis is likely. He says he’s pretty sure oil prices will stay under $200 a barrel. Comforting words indeed.