The NY Mercantile Exchange pegged oil prices at $49.64 per barrel at the end of the trading period yesterday, 76 percent higher than one year ago. The continual increase is reportedly caused by the perpetually unstable Southeastern weather conditions, and civil unrest in Nigeria. The substantial rise has significantly impacted the trucking industry, which is so reliant on diesel fuel. Some independent truckers are on track to pay more in fuel costs this year than their net income, causing many to stop transporting products altogether, which isn't good for anyone. The hurricanes and civil conflicts have disrupted shipping procedures while demands continues to build, thus driving up the price. Oil barrels were down to just under $11.00 in 1998 after OPEC flooded a non-demanding market.