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Oil Could Rise to ‘Astronomical’ Levels: Pro
| March 20, 2012 | 10:06 AM EDT

As demand continues to rise and geopolitical risks continue push prices higher, many wonder if oil prices will halt their ascent.

"The oil game is a lot different than the last time we had an oil price spike," Robert Brusca, Chief Economist at FAO Economics told CNBC. "We’re underpinned by this growing demand for new sources and that keeps oil pricesfrom really falling sharply."

Brusca explained that demand continues to grow even in countries such as China and India where retail fuel pricesare at a record high. "Their demands are still growing because we’re seeing a growing standard of living in these countries. We’re drawing more people into the modern economy." The increased consumer base is preventing oil prices from falling.

Geopolitical risks are also fueling the rise in oil prices, he said.

"The Saudis are in the midst of a program to pump out and ship a lot of oil to try to drive these prices down close to $100 per barrel, Brusca said. "I don’t think you can take any price off the table where the Middle East is concerned. If anything were to happen to escalate tension in the area, you could see oil going to levels that would be astronomical."

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