There appears to be no stopping oil these days, with Brent oil futures marching past the $70 per barrel mark this week.
Crude is now some 150% above the levels it was trading at in early 2016, a low of $28 that was reached after oil entered a pronounced bear market.
Much of the strength in oil over recent trading sessions has been ascribed to a falling US dollar, as crude like other commodities is priced in dollars. As a result of greenback weakness, such commodities become cheaper in other currencies.
“The depreciation of the US dollar is allowing oil prices to make further gains. Almost every commodity class is being driven up by this extended dollar fall,” says Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank.
However, there´s been other factors at play in the sharp rise in oil prices over recent months.
Oil has climbed steadily since the middle of last year, with both demand and supply being perceived as more favourable for crude.
On the one hand, strengthening economic momentum in major economies such as the US, Europe, China and Japan naturally translates into firmer demand.
At the same time, OPEC and Russia have hailed continued progress in their targets to cut oil production.
In the autumn, OPEC and its partners agreed an extension to their output cuts. Recently, Saudi officials have also been talking up the prospects of extending the agreement yet again.
But where will oil go from here?
At 150%, the gain in oil prices since early 2016 sounds like an awful lot. However, it´s worth remembering that crude was trading as high as $115 per barrel in the middle of 2014.
That´s another 60% higher than the current price of $71 per barrel.
Some analysts, however, are claiming that the current bull market in oil looks long in the tooth on technical factors.
Carley Garner, a technical analyst and co-founder of DeCarley Trading, points to the latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Commitments of Traders report as providing evidence that the current rally may be about to run out of steam.
As of last week, investors were collectively holding the single largest long position in crude oil futures in history, some 666,000 net long contracts.
Some technical analysts point to this as a sign of overexuberance and scope for a big retracement in oil prices as the bullish positions get unwound.
Garner believes that a big sell-off in oil could be further exacerbated if the recent bearish run for the dollar also gets reversed.
On the fundamental side, however, the overall near-term signs for oil still appear good.