|NEW YORK - Oil prices ended the year near $96 a barrel, or 57 percent higher than where they began, and analysts expect rising demand and geopolitical instability to keep upward pressure on energy costs early in 2008.
"There's a good chance this week that we'll see some record highs," Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Ill., said.
A record-breaking year for energy futures ended quietly on Monday, with oil futures declining 2 cents to settle at $95.98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil reached a trading record of $99.29 on Nov. 21, and remains close to the range of inflation-adjusted highs set in early 1980. Depending on how the adjustment is calculated, $38 a barrel then would be worth $96 to $103 or more today.