Unrest in Iraq pushed WTI crude oil contracts above $106 per barrel on Thursday, its highest level since September, 2013. And, if one technician’s chart holds, oil can get as high as $115, if not $150.
"The charts are starting to get bullish now for oil," said Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer & Co. He said oil is headed to $115 in the near term.
"The real question is what happens at $115," Wald said. "$115 was the prior highs from the past couple of years. If you get a breakout above there, then you could be talking about a move back to the 2008 highs back at $150."
Wald said the technicals support this because oil has been making an "ascending triangle" pattern since 2011. The $115 level has acted as a consistent resistance level while oil has been making higher lows for the past three years.
"You've seen bulls stepping in at higher prices each time," Wald said. "The tendency is for this pattern to break higher. So, this is a very bullish pattern for WTI crude oil."
Portfolio manager Kevin Caron of Stifel's Washington Crossing Advisors thinks other things are moving the price of oil higher besides the latest news out of Iraq, OPEC's second-largest oil producer.
"We've had a couple of threats in the past," Caron said. "We went through a very difficult, similar kind of situation with Syria. There's always a concern in the Middle East about supply disruptions. But, ultimately, what's been driving oil over the last several years has been improvement in the global economy."
(Watch more: Oil could rise another $15: Oppenheimer expert)
Oil's climb from the $60 range after the financial crisis to its current levels reflects global growth rather than isolated incidents, according to Caron.
"The small movements we've had the last couple of days really don't suggest any kind of real concern about the situation in Iraq, at least at this point," Caron said. "They've priced a lot of that concern into the existing oil markets. This is just another concern to throw on the heap of other concerns."
To see the full discussion on oil, with Caron on the fundamentals and Wald on the technicals, watch the above video.
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