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At $43 a barrel, where do oil prices go from here? Well, there are plenty of reasons to believe they won't keep going higher.

The rise from the high $30s to today's $43 is largely the result of the Yukos-Russian tiff. Although this game of crude brinkmanship is frustrating to the global oil market, the chance of actual supply disruptions is minimal.

Knowing the Consequences

President Vladimir Putin and his government know that reduced exports would be disastrous not only for Yukos, but also for the Russian economy and for global oil prices. Hardball tactics from the government also would have a chilling effect on future foreign investment, which is desperately needed in Russia to improve infrastructure and potentially boost production and exports.

Beyond Yukos, Russia's signals have been clear. Over the past two weeks, Putin has entertained ConocoPhillips ( COP) Chairman and CEO James Mulva and has encouraged BP ( BP) to look at various Siberian investments. The intended message is clear: Yukos is a tax matter and should have no bearing on the future of foreign investment in Russia.

The Yukos situation should pass, and oil prices are likely to head back to the high $30s in the next couple of weeks. However, don't expect a much greater retreat in the weeks ahead.

Other Risk Factors

There are simply too many possible "hot spots" in the world that could negatively impact supply. Potential troubles include sabotage in Iraq, security concerns in Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations, strife in Nigeria, labor concerns in Norway, infrastructure and investment concerns in Russia, domestic capacity issues in Mexico, and civil unrest in Venezuela ahead of the August referendum. That's not to mention the overall risk of terrorism affecting global oil infrastructure.

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