Mission Accomplished: Oil hits $100 barrel for the first time
Oil prices reached the symbolic level of $100 a barrel for the first time on Wednesday, a long-awaited milestone in an era of rapidly escalating energy demand.
Crude oil futures for January delivery hit the $100 threshold on theNew York Mercantile Exchange shortly after noon New York time, before falling back slightly. Oil prices, which had fallen to a low of $50 a barrel at the beginning of the year, have quadrupled since 2003.
The rise in oil prices in recent years has been driven by an unprecedented surge in demand from the United States, China and other Asian and Middle Eastern countries.