Oil projected to top $116 amid Iraq conflict

The price of oil may average as much as $116 a barrel by the need of the year, according to Wall Street projections.

The turmoil in Iraq has catalyzed the price hike. The international benchmark topped $114 on Friday for the first time in non months, Bloomberg reports.

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The price increased as militants advanced toward Baghdad, threatening civil war Friday. The mounting conflict threatens to hurt Iraq's output as OPEC's second biggest crude oil producer.

“We’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop in this tightly balanced market and now it’s happened,” Katherine Spector, a commodities strategist at CIBC World Markets Inc. told Bloomberg News. “There have been lurking risks but nobody was projecting how quickly things would turn worse."