Past, Present and Future Oil Prices

Day-to-day price jumps

The purpose of this section is to show the causes and effects of long-term price changes; however, it is somewhat interesting to follow the recent series of steady price increases to see how quickly the price went up, and how alarmed the news media was when it did.

The newest items are at the bottom, so there may be some broken links near the top.

Oil, Gasoline Decline on Report of U.S. Fuel Supply Increase.  Crude oil fell more than $1 a barrel and gasoline plunged after an Energy Department report showed an unexpected increase in U.S. inventories of the motor fuel.  Stockpiles rose 402,000 barrels to 205.8 million last week, the report showed.

Oil Rises to Record $94.74 as U.S. Supplies Fall to 2-Year Low.  Crude oil rose to a record $94.74 barrel in New York after an Energy Department report showed that U.S. inventories fell to a two-year low.  Today's 4.6 percent gain was the biggest since Jan. 30.

Oil price may hit $100 in days.  Oil rose above $96 overnight [11/9/2007] on winter fuel supply concerns, a tumbling US dollar and big options positions betting oil could strike $100 next week.  US crude rose 70 cents to $96.16 a barrel by 1906 GMT, off earlier highs of $96.68 a barrel.

Oil crosses 96 dollar a barrel.  New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, was trading at 95.64 dollars a barrel, up 1.11 dollars, or 1.2 percent, from its close of 94.53 dollars a barrel in US trades.  It also smashed Wednesday's record of 94.74 dollars.

Oil prices ease as OPEC lowers demand forecast.  World oil prices fell slightly Thursday [11/15/2007] as OPEC lowered its estimate for demand growth and ruled out a hike to crude output.  The market was meanwhile preparing for weekly government data on the state of US energy stockpiles.  New York's main contract, light sweet crude for December delivery, dropped 26 cents to 94.64 dollars per barrel.  In London, Brent North Sea crude for December delivery lost 48 cents to 90.88 dollars per barrel.

Oil prices slide.  World oil prices fell sharply overnight [11/16/2007] on easing supply concerns as OPEC lowered its estimate for demand growth and the US government revealed a surprise increase to crude stockpiles, traders said.

Oil reaches new record above $99.  Oil prices came close to breaching the $100 a barrel mark on Wednesday [11/21/2007] as the dollar remained weak, tempting traders towards commodities.

Oil prices hit closing record:  $98.18.  Oil futures resumed their march toward $100 a barrel Friday [11/23/2007], rising to a record close in light holiday trading on concerns about tight heating oil supplies while also drawing support from a buoyant stock market.

Crude Oil Falls Below $90 on Concern Economic Growth Will Slow.  Crude oil fell below $90 a barrel in the biggest weekly loss in two and a half years on concern slowing economic growth will cut energy demand, and as Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said supplies in the market are "ample."

Oil prices slump under $88.  Oil prices tumbled under $88 overnight, with all eyes on the forthcoming OPEC output meeting in Abu Dhabi as sentiment turned on whether there will be a production hike or not.  OPEC, which pumps about 40 percent of the world's oil, was due to meet in the United Arab Emirates capital tomorrow [12/6/2007].

Oil hits $100 a barrel for the first time.  Oil prices rose above the symbolic level of $100 a barrel for the first time on Wednesday [1/2/2008], a long-awaited milestone in an era of rapidly escalating energy demand.  Crude oil futures for February delivery crossed the $100 threshold on the New York Mercantile Exchange shortly after noon New York time, before falling back slightly.  Oil prices, which had fallen to a low of $50 a barrel at the beginning of last year, have quadrupled since 2003.

Oil falls near $90 on recession fears.  Oil slipped toward $90 a barrel on Thursday [1/17/2008] amid growing fears the U.S. economy will slip into a recession and hurt demand from the world's top energy consumer.  The loss stretches oil's slide to about 10 percent since the record over $100 a barrel hit January 3, taking pressure off of producer-group OPEC to boost output at its next meeting in February.

Oil soars to record above $US100.  Oil prices settled over $US100 for the first time, as a potent combination of supply concerns pushed crude into record territory. … Futures surged early in the session on an explosion at Alon USA's Big Spring, Texas refinery that occurred on Monday [2/18/2008].  Damage assessments indicated that the refinery would be out of commission for weeks or months.

North Slope crude market cracks $100-barrel barrier.  The price of Alaska oil blew past the $100 mark Tuesday [2/26/2008], extending an incredible run that's enriching not only oil companies but the state.  "I'm not astonished anymore," said Michael Williams, the state's chief economist and a longtime observer of oil markets.

Oil price hits new record.  World oil prices hit a new record of $101.32 a barrel in Asian trading today [2/21/2008] on renewed concerns over global crude supplies, dealers said.  New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, closed overnight up 73 cents at an all-time high of $100.74.

Oil Shoots Up to $102 Per Barrel.  Crude prices rebounded Thursday [2/28/2008], shooting up more than $2 a barrel to a new record as a falling dollar and the prospect of lower interest rates attracted fresh money to the oil market.  Retail gas prices, meanwhile, rose closer to records above $3 a gallon.

Oil Is Little Changed After Rising Above $102 on Weak Dollar.  Crude oil traded little changed after earlier rising above $102 a barrel, the highest ever.  Gold advanced to a record as a weakening dollar spurred investors to buy commodities as a hedge against inflation.  Futures jumped in New York and London as the dollar fell to $1.50 per euro for the first time.

Oil jumps as the dollar declines to a new low against the euro.  The surging price of oil reached another milestone Monday [3/3/2008], jumping to an inflation adjusted record high of $103.95.

Oil Advances to Record $105.97 as Dollar Drops to All-Time Low.  Crude oil rose to $105.97 a barrel, the third day this week New York prices have reached a record, as the U.S. dollar fell to its lowest ever against the euro.  Gold and copper also advanced to all-time highs as the sinking dollar made commodities priced in the U.S. currency cheaper.  Oil closed at a record yesterday [3/5/2008] after U.S. crude inventories fell for the first time in eight weeks and OPEC refrained from raising production.

Crude Oil Rises Above $108 to Record as Returns Outpace Stocks.  Crude oil rose above $108 a barrel in New York to a record as investors purchased futures because the returns have outpaced those of financial markets. … Crude oil for April delivery rose $2.75, or 2.6 percent, to close at a record $107.90 a barrel at 2:47 p.m. [3/10/2008] on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  Futures surged to $108.21 a barrel today, the highest since trading began in 1983.

Oil crosses record $110, despite supply rise.  Oil prices rebounded to another record high Wednesday afternoon [3/12/2008] after initially plummeting when a government report said supplies of crude and gasoline had risen much more than expected.  In afternoon trading, U.S. light crude for April delivery surged to a high of $110.20 before closing at $109.92.  Oil had traded as low as at $107.09 following the report's release on Wednesday morning [3/12/2008].

Oil prices plunge after hitting new record high.  Oil prices plunged Monday [3/17/2008], pulling back at least temporarily from record levels as investors feared that the financial crisis that forced the sale of Bear Stearns Cos. is a sign of deep economic trouble.

Oil extends slide on economic worries.  Oil prices extended a week-long slide on Thursday [3/20/2008], briefly tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time in two weeks amid growing concerns an economic slowdown in top consumer the United States would cut global energy demand.

Oil to stay within $US110, says OPEC.  Oil prices will range between $80 and $110 per barrel for the rest of 2008, OPEC President Chakib Khelil says.  Mr Khelil, who is also Algerian energy and mines minister, said on Algerian television that OPEC was under "big pressures" from consuming nations who liked to portray the group as responsible for high oil prices, when in fact the market was responding to US economic problems and the falling dollar.

Oil tops $107 after Iraqi pipeline bombed.  Oil prices rose by more than a dollar Thursday [2/27/2008], as the bombing of a key Iraqi pipeline extended a buying spree spurred by an anemic dollar and lower U.S. fuel inventories.

Oil Rises Above $107 After Iraqi Pipeline Blast Curbs Supply.  Crude oil rose above $107 a barrel in New York after a pipeline explosion in southern Iraq cut supplies to the country's main export terminal.  The Iraqi oil ministry didn't yet know the cause of the blast on the Zubair-1 pipeline, one of two that transport oil to the Basra terminal, an oil ministry official said.

Oil prices head towards $US110 a barrel.  Oil prices rose more than 2 percent overnight as weakness in the US dollar following a batch of soft jobs data outweighed fears of a demand slowdown in the world's biggest energy consumer.  News of a fire at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Los Angeles supported the gains, sparking fears over gasoline supply heading into the summer driving season.

Oil Rises, Gasoline Surges to Record on U.S. Fuel-Supply Drop.  Crude oil rose more than $3 a barrel and gasoline surged to a record after an Energy Department report showed that U.S. supplies of the motor fuel fell a third week.  Gasoline stockpiles declined 4.53 million barrels to 224.7 million barrels last week, the biggest drop since August, the report showed.

Oil prices rise to new high above $112.  Oil prices rose to an intraday trading record above $112 a barrel Tuesday [4/15/2008] as the U.S. dollar fell against the euro and crude oil shipments along one U.S. pipeline were said to be operating below capacity.  Light, sweet crude for May delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose to an intraday record of $112.80 a barrel in electronic trading by early afternoon in Europe, well above the previous trading high of $112.21 set last week.

Crude Oil Rises Above $117 as Attackers Cut Nigerian Supply.  Crude oil in New York rose to a record above $117 a barrel after attacks cut Nigerian output and the dollar dropped against the euro. … "We are clearly headed over $120 a barrel and we are targeting $125," said John Kilduff, vice president of risk management at MF Global Ltd. in New York.  "The last thing we need is another supply disruption.  The outage certainly adds to the bullish sentiment."

Crude Oil Rises to All-Time High Above $119 on Record Euro.  Crude oil rose to a record $119.90 a barrel in New York as the dollar dropped to an all-time low against the euro, prompting investors to purchase commodities as an inflation hedge.  Oil gained as the dollar touched $1.60 per euro for the first time after European Central Bank policy makers signaled they may raise interest rates because of inflation.  Crude's 24 percent surge this year pulled gasoline and diesel to records, weighing on an economy already reeling from a credit crisis.

Oil hits fresh high as biofuels rethink looms.  Expectations rose on Tuesday that soaring food prices will provoke a rethink of support for biofuels in Europe and the US, as the price of oil hit a new high of almost $120 a barrel.

Oil prices recede after setting record above $117.  Retail gasoline prices hit another new milestone today, jumping to an average $3.50 a gallon at filling stations across the country.  Crude oil prices, meanwhile, set new records of their own, spiking above $117 a barrel after an attack on a Japanese oil tanker in the Middle East.

Oil falls more than $3 on weaker demand.  Oil prices fell more than $3 a barrel today [4/29/2008] as the market absorbed data showing demand is falling even as supplies are rising.  Meanwhile, gas prices inched higher at the pump, continuing their record-breaking press toward $4 a gallon.

U.S. stocks fall; Oil surges past $120.  U.S. stocks fell on Monday [5/5/2008] as resurgent oil prices set a record over $120 a barrel and doubts about Bank of America's plan to buy the largest U.S. mortgage lender renewed concerns about the nation's economic health.

Oil nears $123 on $200 oil prediction, supply concerns.  Oil futures blasted to a new record near $123 a barrel Tuesday [5/6/2008], gaining momentum as investors bought on a forecast of much higher prices and on any news hinting at supply shortages.  Retail gas prices edged lower, but appear poised to rise to new records of their own in coming weeks.

Gas and oil prices continue to set records.  Oil prices shot to a new record near $127 a barrel Tuesday [5/13/2008] on concerns that Iran may consider cutting crude oil production.  Gas prices, meanwhile, rose to a new record over $3.73 a gallon Tuesday, and their advance shows little sign of slowing with Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer driving season, just 10 days away.

Oil settles above $129 for first time.  Just in time for the start of the summer driving season:  Oil near $130 a barrel and gas getting closer to an average of $4 a gallon.  Crude prices spiked to yet another trading high Tuesday [5/20/2008] as supply concerns mounted.  At filling stations across the country, the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline touched $3.80 for the first time, having followed oil's spectacular rise.

Oil prices pass $132 after government reports supply drop.  Oil prices bolted to a new record above $132 a barrel Wednesday [5/21/2008] after the government reported that supplies of crude oil and gasoline fell unexpectedly last week.  And crude's rise in the futures market again pressured consumers by pulling prices at the pump higher — a gallon of regular gas rose overnight to a new record above $3.80 a gallon.

Oil Rises to a Record After Pickens Says Prices May Reach $150.  Crude oil rose above $129 a barrel in New York for the first time after billionaire hedge-fund manager Boone Pickens said oil will reach $150 a barrel this year because supply isn't keeping up with demand.

Oil above $133 on Nigeria, North Sea.  Oil rose above $133 on Monday as long-term supply concerns lingered and fresh production problems appeared in Nigeria and Norway.  U.S. crude rose 95 cents to $133.14 a barrel by 11:28 a.m. EDT.  London Brent crude rose $1.47 to $133.04.  Oil prices have risen nearly 40 percent this year, topping $135 for the first time last week.

Oil Falls More Than $3 as Record Prices Curb U.S. Fuel Demand.  Crude oil fell more than $3 a barrel [5/27/2008] in New York, the biggest decline since April, on signs that U.S. fuel consumption is dropping because of a slowing economy and record energy prices.

Oil's biggest day yet drags down stocks.  Oil prices made their biggest single-day leap ever Friday, dragging the Dow Jones industrials down nearly 400 points and raising the once-unthinkable prospect of $150 oil and more record gas prices by the Fourth of July.

Energy chief:  Flat production behind oil prices.  Oil prices made their biggest single-day surge on Friday [6/6/2008], soaring $11 to $138.54 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, an 8 percent increase.  That followed a $5.50 increase the day before, taking oil futures more than 13 percent higher in just two days.  While demand has increased as supply has stalled, analysts have also cited the decline of the U.S. dollar, fears about the long-term supply of oil, and aggressive speculation as factors in rising prices.

Oil climbs to new record above $142 a barrel.  Oil prices climbed to a record above $142 a barrel Friday [6/27/2008] as the U.S. dollar's protracted slump and falling stock markets prompted investors to take refuge in oil.  Prices were also lifted Thursday after OPEC's president said crude prices could rise well above $150 a barrel this year and Libya said it may cut oil production.

Oil near $143 on view dollar will keep falling.  Oil futures climbed to a new record near $143 a barrel Friday as the dollar weakened against the euro, confirming expectations that the falling greenback, a major factor in crude's stratospheric rise, will extend its decline and add to oil's appeal.

Iran talks, stronger dollar cause oil to drop.  Oil prices tumbled nearly $4 a barrel today, erasing many of last week's record gains in a single session as concerns about potential supply disruptions eased.  Light, sweet crude for August delivery fell $3.92, or about 2.7 percent, to settle at $141.37 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oil extends slide into 2nd day, losing over $5.  Oil tumbled more than $5 a barrel Tuesday [7/8/2008] in its second big drop this week, hurling crude back to levels not seen since June 26 as traders wary about the health of the global economy cashed in gains from oil's recent rally.

Oil sets new trading record above $147 a barrel.  It's only July, but it might be time to start loading up on blankets and sweaters.  Oil spiked to a new trading record as hostilities rise between the West and Iran — raising the likelihood that this winter's heating bills will be the priciest yet.

Crude Oil Rises to Record on Speculation Israel May Attack Iran.  Crude oil rose more than $5 to a record on concerns that Israel may be preparing to attack Iran, while a strike in Brazil and renewed militant activity in Nigeria threaten to cut supplies.

Oil Prices Plummet Over $6 Amid Economic Fears.  Oil prices fell harder than they have in 17 years on a dollar basis Tuesday, as fears that record fuel prices are spreading broad economic pain led to the third big sell-off in just over a week.  US light, sweet crude plunged $6.44, or 4.4 percent, to settle at $138.74 in an extremely volatile session.

Oil Falls More Than $5 as Natural Gas Tumbles, Economy Slows.  Crude oil fell more than $5 a barrel, dropping below $130 for the first time in six weeks, as natural gas futures tumbled and global economic growth slows.  Natural gas dropped more than 7 percent after a government report showed that U.S. supplies rose a greater-than-forecast 104 billion cubic feet last week.

The great oil bubble has burst.  The price of a barrel of crude has been falling:  from a peak of $145 in early July, it came down to $117 and was trading yesterday [8/7/2008] at $120.  That's almost a 20 percent drop in little more than three weeks.

Oil ends U.S. trading at a three-month low.  Oil prices finished at a new three-month low Monday [8/11/2008] after briefly dropping below $113 a barrel mark, as the dollar extended its rebound and more signs emerged that China's energy demand could be leveling off.

Shock waves spread as oil bubble bursts.  The exposure of the oil price boom as a speculative bubble has been the catalyst for a change in world financial flows, and the ripples are now spreading through currency, commodity and financial markets.  Oil hit its peak of $147 a barrel on July 11, paused and then started to tumble on July 15, and there has been no sign yet that its fall has been arrested.

Oil Rises More Than $6 on U.S.-Russia Tensions, Dollar Weakness.  Crude oil jumped more than $5 as the dollar slumped and the signing yesterday [8/20/2008] of a missile-shield agreement between the U.S. and Poland bolstered concern that Russia may disrupt the flow of oil.

Oil drops below $110 as Gustav fades.  Oil fell below $110 a barrel on Tuesday [9/2/2008] for the first time since April as traders bet the U.S. oil industry would recover quickly from Hurricane Gustav.  Early indications that oil installations suffered only minor damage from the storm returned the market's focus to bearish factors including slowing global energy demand growth, rising inventories and a stronger U.S. dollar.

Oil hits 5-month low as demand shrinks.  Oil prices fell to their lowest level in five months on Friday [9/5/2008] as investors worried that an economic slowdown could chip away at demand for energy.

Oil rises as Ike bears down on Texas coast.  Oil prices rose over $102 a barrel Friday [9/12/2008] as Hurricane Ike swept up from the Gulf of Mexico, prompting companies along the Texas coast to shut down refining and drilling operations.

Oil Falls Below $97 on Little Damage From Ike.  Oil prices fell below $97 a barrel on Monday [9/15/2008] after Hurricane Ike inflicted minimal damage to oil installations on the Texas coast.  Light, sweet crude for October delivery declined $4.39 to $96.79 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by noon in Europe.

Oil sinks more than $10.  Oil prices tumbled more than $10 a barrel Monday [9/29/2008] — the second biggest drop in dollar terms ever on an active contract — as the government's proposed $700 billion bailout was defeated by the House, adding to concerns about the spread of economic weakness worldwide.

Oil drops 6 percent to below $88 on demand concerns.  Oil dropped more than 6 percent to below $88 a barrel on Monday [10/6/2008] as a global market rout churned concerns that faltering fuel demand could slow further.  U.S. stocks tumbled 6 percent to the lowest level in nearly five years as part of an international sell-off on fears the global economy was heading into recession.

Crude Oil Drops Below $80 as Equities Slump on Credit Freeze.  Oil dropped below $80 a barrel in New York and copper headed for its worst week in more than 20 years on concern the deepening financial crisis will push the global economy into a recession, cutting demand for raw materials.

Oil falls below $79 on profit-taking, demand drop.  Oil prices fell below $79 a barrel in choppy trading Tuesday [10/14/2008] as investors took profits from the previous day's rally and shifted their focus back to signs of dwindling world energy demand.  A falling U.S. stock market, a day after a record-breaking advance, also weighed on crude prices as oil market traders continued to fixate on equities as a barometer for the overall confidence in the shaky world economy.

Crude Oil Drops Below $70 After U.S. Reports Inventory Gain.  Crude oil fell below $70 a barrel to the lowest since June 2007 and gasoline tumbled after a U.S. government report showed stockpiles increased more than twice as much as forecast.  Supplies rose 5.6 million barrels to 308.2 million barrels last week, the Department of Energy said in a weekly report.

OPEC calls emergency meeting as oil prices plummet.  Oil prices plummeted Thursday [10/16/2008], falling below $70 a barrel for the first time in 16 months, prompting the OPEC oil cartel to call for an emergency meeting next week.  The rapid decline in prices had alarmed both petroleum company executives and oil producers, who are becoming increasingly nervous that oil's roller-coaster ride undermines the stability of energy markets.

Oil falls below $67 on US recession fears.  Oil prices tumbled below $67 a barrel to 16-month lows Wednesday [10/22/2008] after the government reported big increases in U.S. fuel supplies — more evidence that the economic downturn is drying up energy demand.

Oil below $64 as investors eye weak demand.  Oil prices fell to their lowest level in more than a year Monday [10/27/2008] before rebounding to just above $63 a barrel as growing evidence of a global economic slowdown had investors betting on a further drop in energy demand.

Gas continues to fall as oil slips below $65.  Oil prices ended the week with a modest rally Friday but couldn't erase one ugly October:  Crude capped its biggest monthly drop since futures trading began 25 years ago, weighed down as a deflated U.S. economy crushes demand for fuel.  Oil's huge collapse — prices fell 32 percent for the month — has stunned oil-producing countries while giving cash-strapped U.S. consumers a rare dose of relief.

Oil prices swing wildly as Dow rally fails.  Oil prices fluctuated throughout the day Monday [11/10/2008], tracking closely with the path on Wall Street where an early rally failed to hold.  Light, sweet crude for December delivery rose $1.37 to settle at $62.41 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday, but swung as low as $59.10 at one point.

Oil Falls to 19-Month Low, Gasoline Tumbles, on Demand Outlook.  Crude oil fell below $59 a barrel in New York for the first time since March 2007, and gasoline tumbled, on speculation the International Energy Agency will cut its 2009 oil-demand forecast because of slowing economic growth.

Oil rises from 3-year low as stocks rebound.  A rebound in world stock markets supported oil prices Friday [11/21/2008], with crude creeping off a 3-year low to trade above $50 a barrel.  The bounce reflected how tightly oil prices are tied to trading in equities and left open the likelihood of further volatility in the crude sector.

Oil plunges below $50 — What's ahead for Texas?  After six years of growth, Texas' mighty oil and gas industry is bracing for what could be a sharp downturn in activity as falling commodity prices and the broader economic meltdown prod energy companies to cut back.  A stark reminder came Thursday, when crude fell below $50 a barrel for the first time since May 2005.  Its closing price of $49.62 was down almost $100 from the record close of $145.29 on July 3.  And weak global energy demands threaten to keep prices low.

Oil prices near $35 on more dour economic news.  Crude prices tumbled Wednesday following a raft of bad economic news and growing stockpiles of unused gasoline that suggested demand for energy has continued to erode.  Light, sweet crude for February delivery fell $3.63 to settle at $35.35 in a shortened day of trading.  Prices fell as low as $35.13 just before the market closed for the holiday.  It was the ninth straight day that crude has fallen.

Crude Oil Rises More Than 6 Percent as U.A.E. Reduces Output.  Crude oil rose more than 6 percent in New York, the biggest increase in two weeks, after the United Arab Emirates said it would reduce output to comply with OPEC's supply curbs.  Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., the biggest producer in the U.A.E., will reduce oil supply to Asia in January and February, according to a statement sent to buyers.

Oil drops below $US40 on weak energy demand.  Oil futures slipped below $US40 a barrel as the market focused on weak energy demand after hefty price gains a day earlier amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.  New York's main contract, light sweet crude for February, closed 99 cents lower at $39.03 a barrel.

Oil falls below $34 amid excess supply.  Crude futures for March and beyond sank Tuesday revealing broad pessimism in the markets over energy demand for the foreseeable future. ... Light, sweet crude for February delivery rose $2.23 to settle at $38.74 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  Trading in the final day of the contract was very light, leading to price swings close to $7.

Oil below $41 as U.S. crude workers may strike.  Traders on Monday [2/2/2009] ignored the bullish effect of strike threats from U.S. oil workers, sending benchmark crude prices below $41 over continued concerns about the world's economy.  Even new indications that OPEC members were generally complying with significant output reductions failed to buoy markets.

Oil price slumps to $US35.  Oil prices fell for the second day running overnight after government data showed surging crude stockpiles amid sagging demand in the US, the biggest energy-consuming nation.  New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for March, shed $US1.61 from its closing price on Tuesday [2/10/2009] to $US35.94 per barrel.

New York crude oil price falls below $US34.  NEW York crude oil prices fell below $US34 a barrel overnight in a market plagued by weak energy demand reflected in new US data that showed surging crude stockpiles.

Crude oil is getting cheaper — so why isn't gas?  Crude oil prices have fallen to new lows for this year.  So you'd think gas prices would sink right along with them.  Not so.  On Thursday [2/12/2009], for example, crude oil closed just under $34 a barrel, its lowest point for 2009.  But the national average price of a gallon of gas rose to $1.95 on the same day, its peak for the year.  On Friday gas went a penny higher.

Crude oil slides below key threshold of $35 a barrel.  Crude oil was again trading below a key threshold of $35 a barrel Tuesday [2/17/2009] as an avalanche of bad economic news and scant faith in a quick recovery continued to batter the commodity's value.  Light, sweet crude for March delivery ended the day down $2.58 to $34.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oil jumps more than $2.  Oil gained more than $2 a barrel Wednesday, after a government report showed that while supplies of gasoline fell much more than expected, crude stockpiles continue to grow amid sluggish demand.

Oil down 10%:  Economy trumps cuts.  Oil prices dropped 10% Monday as concerns over a weakening economy overshadowed signs of supply reductions from OPEC.  U.S. crude for April delivery settled down $4.61 to $40.15 a barrel in New York.  Prices fell as low as $39.84 a barrel during the session.

Crude oil prices tumble to end volatile week.  Crude prices fell sharply to end the week and natural gas tumbled to seven-year lows as a worsening economy led to more painful cuts in the industrial sector.  Benchmark crude for May delivery dropped $1.96 to settle at $52.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Editor says...
The link to the article immediately above is now gone, and the MSNBC site redirects visitors to a more current story on the same subject.  But if you're making your own chart of the history of oil prices, the older article appeared on or about March 28, 2009.

Oil ends above $60 — 1st time since November.  Oil's most active contract settled above $60 a barrel for the first time in more than 6 months after a government supply report showed stockpiles shrinking and U.S. stocks rallied.  U.S. light crude for July delivery — which became the active contract Wednesday — settled at $62.04 a barrel, up $1.94 The settlement price was the highest since Nov. 10.

Hottest Oil Options Show 18% Drop as Demand Falls.  After oil passed $60 a barrel for the first time in six months, the New York Mercantile Exchange's fastest-growing options trade in July is for a 18 percent drop.

Oil hits new 6-month high above $66.  Oil prices extended a rally to above $66 a barrel Friday [5/26/2009] to hit a fresh six-month high, after the U.S. reported a fall in oil inventories and further signs of an improving economy.

Oil rises to new high for 2009, near $70 barrel.  Oil prices on Thursday [6/4/2009] set a new high for the year, buoyed by a weaker dollar and the first drop in unemployment since January.  Benchmark crude for July delivery was up $2.69 to settle at $68.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  Oil climbed as high as $69.60 earlier in the day.

Washington Sleeps As Oil Prices Stir.  The cost of July deliveries of crude bounced over $73 Thursday [6/11/2009] as the American Petroleum Institute reported shrinking U.S. inventories as the dollar weakens against the euro.  Alexei Miller, chairman of the Russian energy giant Gazprom, is repeating his prediction of a year ago that oil may eventually reach the $250 mark.

Oil rises nears $72 with supplies falling.  Oil prices climbed nearer to $72 a barrel Wednesday [7/1/2009] with early indications that the government could report crude supplies have dropped for the seven out of the past eight weeks.

Oil below $66.  Oil dropped a dollar to below $66 a barrel on Friday [7/3/2009] after unemployment data hardened views economic weakness would sap energy demand and that last month's rally was overdone.

Oil prices fall to new lows for the month.  Benchmark crude for September delivery fell 76 cents to settle at $66.75 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange [8/17/2009].

Oil hovers near $79 amid rising US oil supplies.  Oil prices fell below $79 a barrel Wednesday [11/11/2009] in Asia as investors mulled rising U.S. oil inventories and a weaker dollar.  Benchmark crude for December delivery down 14 cents to $78.91 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  The contract fell 38 cents to settle at $79.05 on Tuesday.

Crude Oil Falls to Two-Month Low After U.S. Fuel Supplies Gain.  Crude oil fell to a two-month low after a government report showed that U.S. fuel inventories climbed as refineries bolstered operating rates.  Gasoline stockpiles rose 2.25 million barrels to 216.3 million, the report showed.  Supplies of distillate fuel, a category that includes heating oil and diesel, increased 1.62 million barrels to 167.3 million.

Crude Skids to Two Month Low.  Oil prices hit two-month lows Wednesday as U.S. government data showed that energy demand continues to slump.  Benchmark crude for January delivery gave up $1.95 (U.S.) to settle at $70.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  Prices dropped as low as $70.13 a barrel earlier in the day.

Oil hits 5-week high, nears $80.  Oil prices gained for a fourth straight session, climbing to their highest level in more than five weeks as cold weather swept across the country and the dollar weakened.  Crude oil for February delivery rose 72 cents, or nearly 1%, to settle at $78.77 a barrel — the highest since Nov. 18, when prices settled at $79.58 a barrel.

Oil prices at highest level in nearly 18 months.  Oil prices rose on Tuesday [4/6/2010] as investors continued to pour money into crude with the hope that global demand will strengthen.

'Historically bad week' for oil.  It's been a dismal week for the economy all around, with an abundance of gloomy data pummeling recovery hopes.  The oil market felt the brunt of the blows.  Crude prices struggled to hold above $75 a barrel this week, after reports showed jobless claims shot up to 500,000 last week.  Additionally, a glut of oil supplies topped the highest figures on record.

Oil makes largest jump since 2009.  Oil rose back above US$80 on Friday to a seven-week high, boosted by stronger-than-expected U.S. and Chinese economic data which raised hopes of demand recovery in the world's largest consumers.

Oil prices hit $90 milestone.  Oil prices on Tuesday [12/7/2010] jumped above $90 a barrel for the first time in more than two years, a key milestone for Wall Street analysts who say tightening supplies will eventually drive prices above the $100 mark next year.

Oil falls to near $91 on weak US jobs market.  Oil prices fell to near $91 a barrel Friday [1/14/2011] in Asia as traders mulled whether demand in a slowly recovering U.S. economy will be enough to push crude above $100 soon.

Oil prices fall as supplies continue to grow.  Oil prices fell Wednesday [2/9/2011] after the government reported crude oil supplies rose last week, and new data showed OPEC production reached a two-year high.

Oil prices soared to more than $114 highest for two-and-half-years.  The oil price breached $114 a barrel for the first time in more than two-and-a-half years as unrest in the Middle East spread from Libya to Iran.  Oil jumped by as much as 2.3% to a fresh high of $114.36 as police in Tehran used tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters and the US government warned that Libya could descend into civil war if Muammar Gaddafi remained defiant and refuses to quit.

The Editor says...
Oh, but rest assured that if Muammar Gaddafi resigns and exiles himself, the price of oil will immediately zoom back down!

Oil jumps above $103 as Libya crisis escalates.  Oil prices surged in electronic trading Monday [3/21/2011] after coalition forces launched an attack on Libyan military targets over the weekend.  The benchmark U.S. contract, West Texas Intermediate, gained as much as $2.28 to top $103 a barrel for April delivery.

Oil - near $106 and rising.  Crude oil prices moved above $106 a barrel again Thursday [3/24/2011] before retreating, as a confluence of war, natural disasters and Japan's nuclear problems unnerved investors.  The benchmark U.S. contract, West Texas Intermediate, dropped 15 cents, or 0.55%, to settle at $105.60 a barrel for May delivery.  In early trading, the price peaked at $106.69.

Oil settles above $111 per barrel.  Oil settled above $111 per barrel Wednesday [4/20/2011] as the dollar weakened and the government reported an unexpected drop in U.S. crude supplies.

Oil Rises to Near $99 on Weaker US Dollar.  Oil prices rose to near $99 a barrel Monday [5/9/2011] in Asia, bouncing back from last week's plunge, as a weaker U.S. dollar made commodities less expensive for investors with other currencies.

Crude oil settles above $103 a barrel.  Oil rose on Tuesday [5/10/2011] after some early losses as investors tried to gauge where the market is headed.  Gas pump prices fell for the fifth day after flirting with a national average of $4 per gallon last week.

Oil near $102 after 36 percent rally in 6 weeks.  Oil prices fell slightly to near $102 a barrel Thursday [11/17/2011] in Asia, pausing a 36 percent rally during the last six weeks.

Oil falls to $100 on growth in US supplies.  Oil is falling to around $100 per barrel after a government report shows supplies grew unexpectedly as demand for gasoline and other petroleum products dropped.

Oil jumps 4 percent on Iran anxiety.  Oil prices surged on Tuesday [1/3/2012], with U.S. crude hitting the highest settlement since May, fueled by strong economic data from the United States and China and mounting concern about supply disruption from Iran.

Tired Of High Gasoline Prices Already? We Ain't Seen Nothing Yet.  It's not even March yet and already the groaning has begun over ramping gasoline prices.  Nationwide the average gallon of gas cost $3.59 last week.  That's up big from $3.19 the same time last year.  U.S. oil prices, benchmarked to West Texas Intermediate are $104 a barrel, versus just $85 a year ago.

Oil Rises to $110 on Report of Pipeline Explosion.  Futures reached $110.55 at 3:17 p.m. [3/1/2012] in New York after Iran's Press TV reported on its English-language website that "an explosion has hit oil pipelines in the flashpoint Saudi Arabian city of Awwamiya," then fell back below $109.

Oil and Gasoline Prices.  Actual oil prices are unknown to most Americans. ... A few of us know that the price of U.S. crude oil is always cheaper than the price of foreign OPEC crude oil.  Some of us know that because we have followed "World Crude Oil Prices" on the website of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy for years.  On November 11, 2011, the EIA shut down the World Crude Oil Prices website.  EIA did not even leave up the valuable historic data on the website.  The Obama administration has hidden actual oil prices from the public.  That should be a scandal.

Oil prices fall on economic concerns.  West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude, gave up 85 cents to end at $102.46 per barrel [4/9/2012].

Crude oil drops sharply.  Crude oil prices dropped sharply on the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday [6/12/2012] as the White House said the market could tolerate less oil from Iran. [...] West Texas Intermediate crude oil for July delivery in New York dropped $2.63 Monday to $81.47 per barrel.

Oil slips lower below $86 on slowing China trade.  Oil slipped further below $86 a barrel Tuesday [7/10/2012] after weak Chinese trade figures suggested the economic slowdown in the world's second-largest crude consumer is deepening and the government in Norway ordered the end of a labor strike in the oil sector.  By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for August delivery was down 14 cents at $85.85 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  Crude rose $1.54 to settle at $85.99 on Monday [7/9/2012] in New York.

Oil resumes upward march, tops $97 per barrel.  Benchmark crude added 85 cents to $97.08 in afternoon trading [8/21/2012] in New York.

Oil surges after Bernanke speech.  Crude oil prices surged Friday [8/31/2012], lifted by a weaker dollar on remarks by US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke and by a slow return of Gulf of Mexico production after Hurricane Isaac.  New York's main contract, light sweet crude for October, was up $1.85 at $96.47 a barrel in closing trade around 2000 GMT ahead of a long holiday weekend.

Oil Rises on Stimulus Speculation.  Oil rose on speculation central banks will take more steps to boost growth after manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in China.  Prices gained as much as 0.9 percent as equities rallied amid expectations that policy makers would enact stimulus measures to spur expansion.

Oil prices fall below $89 as US posts weakest manufacturing since July 2009.  Benchmark crude for January delivery was down 27 cents to $88.82 per barrel at midday Bangkok time [12/4/2012] in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Oil Price Enigma.  Oil is the single most important commodity purchased today, and its price influences the fortunes of every nation on the planet in significant ways.  Yet nobody can tell you with honesty that they know where the price is headed.

The Price of Oil from 1861 to 2010.  There have only been three major oil price hikes in American history, the most recent occurring this past decade.  Increased demand in developing countries, such as China and India, and stagnant global oil production are partly to blame.  To keep the price of oil low, oil production must increase — or traditional fossil fuel demand must be offset by an increase in the supply of alternative energy.

Oil Settles at Highest Level Since May 2012.  U.S. crude oil prices settled Friday [7/5/2013] at their highest level since May 2012 amid positive U.S. economic data and concerns that instability in Egypt could lead to supply disruptions.  The Labor Department said about 195,000 jobs were added in June, beating expectations for 165,000 jobs.  Results from the two prior months were revised higher by a combined 70,000 jobs, although the unemployment rate remained at 7.6%.

Iraq crisis: oil spikes to three-year high of $112 a barrel.  Oil has spiked to a three-year high of more than $112 a barrel on growing fears of a supply shock triggered by escalating tensions in Iraq as al-Qaeda forces seized control of Mosul, Tikrit and Samarra.  Benchmark Brent crude rose $2 to $112.29 at one stage in morning trading [6/12/2014] in London, a level last seen during the Arab Spring, amid concerns that 3.5m barrels a day of Iraqi exports could be knocked out of the market by the violence.

Oil Rises Just Above $102 A Barrel.  The price of oil traded around $102 a barrel on Friday [7/25/2014], nearly unchanged, as worries over supplies and geopolitical tensions eased.

Oil prices free fall: Why Venezuela stands to lose the most.  Oil prices continue to slide, putting enormous pressure on oil producers around the world.  Saudi Arabia has insisted it is willing to live with lower prices for quite a while as it seeks to maintain a grip on its market share.  Kuwait also indicated its willingness to slash prices in order to keep output level.  That sent oil prices lower on Oct. 14, as the markets reacted with a bit of surprise to the unwavering stance by OPEC's leading members:  WTI dropped 4.5 percent.

US oil settles down $1.75, or 5.28%, at $31.41 a barrel.  A brutal new year selloff in oil markets deepened on Monday [1/11/2016], with prices plunging more than 6 percent to new 12-year lows as further ructions in the Chinese stock market threatened to knock crude into the $20s.  On Monday, China's blue-chip stocks fell by another 5 percent and overnight interest rates for the yuan outside of China soared to nearly 40 percent, their highest since the launch of the offshore market.

Crude Falls Below $30 a Barrel for the First Time in 12 Years.  Oil dropped below $30 a barrel in New York for the first time in 12 years on concern that turmoil in China's markets will curb fuel demand.  West Texas Intermediate crude tumbled to the lowest since December 2003.  Concerns that China's economic growth may slow has soured investors on the prospects for a quick recovery, turning hedge funds the least bullish in five years.  A rapid appreciation of the U.S. dollar may send Brent oil to as low as $20 a barrel, Morgan Stanley said.

Stocks Nosedive as Global Oil Prices Plunge.  After two days of gains in the oil patch, global crude prices resumed their downward trend, falling below the psychologically-significant $30 a barrel.  West Texas Intermediate crude prices dipped as low as $29.13, the lowest level since November 2003.  In recent action, WTI plunged 6% to $29.33, while Brent, the international benchmark, dropped 5.9% to $29.05 a barrel.

Oil Glut Continues as Prices Drop to $44 a Barrel.  Oil on Tuesday [7/26/2016] hit its lowest since May, falling towards $44 a barrel, pressured by concerns that a long-awaited rebalancing of the market would be delayed due to excess supply.  Brent crude is still up more than 60 percent from a 12-year low near $27 in January, but the rally has petered out on signs that the supply glut will persist and as economic jitters raised concern about the strength of oil demand.

Crude Drops 10 Percent; Price Decline Just Beginning.  Midday last Thursday [10/27/2016], the price of crude oil for delivery in December touched $50, and it's been all downhill since then. At noon on Wednesday crude oil futures touched $45 a barrel on news that inventories soared last week by the most in 34 years.  The market wasn't expecting that.  It was bad enough that the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a supply increase nine times greater than analysts and observers were expecting last week.  Those market seers were betting on an increase of a million barrels.  Instead the API reported the increase was 9.3 million — a miss of gigantic proportions.

Oil slips towards $69 ahead of U.S. supply report.  Oil slipped towards $69 a barrel on Thursday [1/18/2018], weighed down by a reported rise in U.S. fuel stocks and expectations that OPEC-led efforts to boost prices by cutting output will increase supply from the United States and other rivals.

Oil prices are continuing to rise — here's why.  Oil prices go up when there is potential trouble in one of the energy producing regions of the world, even if the trouble never actually happens.  And when oil prices rise, so too do gasoline prices.  And when the trouble abates, gasoline producers and sellers have no incentive to lower prices quickly.  Would you lower the prices you are paid — and the income you make — if nobody was pressuring you?  No, you wouldn't.  And since the media have now bought into the belief that the market — meaning supply and demand — controls energy prices, there isn't even the press' oversight.

How Imaginary Oil Shortages Morphed Into Foreign Aid.  Our domestic oil industry seems to have found itself in uncertain times.  It's not a price shock like mid-2014 to early 2016 or even a slide like that of last winter.  Operational challenges are being encountered.  Investors are done with financing growth and want to see returns instead.  Bankruptcies are on the rise.  Compounding this picture is politics, from strife in OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) to climate change extremists' drive for the industry's total disappearance.  While these exogenous factors, much like supply swings, can certainly put short-term pressure on prices, there's one consistent reason for medium- and long-term volatility:  U.S. monetary policy.

Oil prices could fall below zero:  Analyst.  Plunging oil prices could be headed a lot lower — possibly below zero, according to one Wall Street analyst.  West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, fell by more than 10 percent Wednesday [3/18/2020] to near $24 a barrel, a level last seen in April 2002.  "Oil prices can go negative," wrote Paul Sankey, managing director at Mizuho Securities.

Oil prices drop below $0 for the first time in history.  On Monday afternoon, oil prices hit an all-time low, dipping below $0 for the first time in history.  Traders blamed the drop on the expiration of the May futures contract on Tuesday coupled with a sharp decline in demand amidst the coronavirus shutdowns.  According to NPR, at the start of the year, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil — a key benchmark for U.S. oil prices — was around $60.  Due to the coronavirus pandemic, prices dropped steadily to just $18 a barrel Friday [4/17/2020].

History In The Making:  Oil Settles At Negative $37.63 Per Barrel.  May WTI just traded below zero for the first time ever (trading below NEGATIVE $40 per barrel)... There was a small bid right into the settlement at 1430 ET leaving the May contract to settle at negative $37.63.

Oil below zero: Here's what happened.  During Monday's [4/20/2020] session, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May delivery cratered by 305 percent to -$36.73 a barrel.  At any price below zero, buyers are paid to take delivery as there are costs associated with transportation and storage.  WTI closed at its lowest level since recordkeeping began in March 1983, according to Dow Jones Market Data.  It is unclear whether there was a specific catalyst that sparked the sharp one-day selling, but President Trump remarked the decline was a once in a lifetime event.

Oil crashes 305% to -$36.73 a barrel.  U.S. oil prices plummeted in historic fashion Monday [4/20/2020], crashing below zero as traders unloaded positions ahead of the May contract's Tuesday expiration.  West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May delivery cratered by 305 percent to -$36.73 a barrel.  At a price below zero, buyers would be paid to take delivery as there are costs associated with transportation and storage.  The selling had WTI on track to close at its lowest level since recordkeeping began in March 1983, according to Dow Jones Market Data.  The June contract was trading lower by 18 percent at $20.43 a barrel.

Rx For Plunging Oil Prices?  Take Economy Out Of Quarantine, ASAP.  Global oil prices crash through the floor, imperiling a major industry and millions of jobs.  Time for government action to fix the problem with a bundle of cash and handouts?  Nope.  We have a better idea.  Restart the U.S. economy and put an end to the quarantine economy as soon as possible.  Monday's [4/20/2020] oil news that near-term oil contracts had fallen below zero was frightening.  Essentially, the markets told those holding short-term oil contracts they would have to pay someone to take their oil.  It's not even worth transportation and storage costs.

U.S. crude oil tops $130 a barrel, a 13-year high on possible Western ban of Russian oil.  Oil prices continued to surge in Monday morning trade as the market reacted to supply disruptions stemming from Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the possibility of a ban on Russian oil and natural gas.  West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the U.S. oil benchmark, spiked 6.6% to trade at $123.36 per barrel.  At one point the price rose to $130.50 Sunday evening [3/6/2022], its highest since July 2008, before retreating.  The international benchmark, Brent crude, advanced 6.3% to $125.60 per barrel.  Brent hit a high of $139.13 at one point overnight, also its highest since July 2008.

Gold surges above $2,000 to near an all-time high; palladium rises to a record.  Gold futures climbed above $2,000 an ounce on Tuesday, but settled below their highest price on record, as the war in Ukraine fueled bids for safe haven assets like bullion.  Gold's surge today [3/8/2022] and in recent sessions is "not only a reaction to the Ukraine situation, but also a sign that shorts in the futures markets are abandoning their battle to keep the price corralled," said Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter.

Flashback to 2005:
$55 oil won't last.  When I put a $55 barrel of oil on the table and look at it from all angles, there's no way the current price can be justified.  As a free-market disciple, I am compelled to accept the market's verdict:  $55 a barrel.  But that doesn't mean it's going to last.

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2022 by Andrew K. Dart

Predictions for future oil price trends

Oil Surges After Energy Department Says No Plan To Tap Oil Reserves.  So much for the threat that the Biden admin would sell oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  Moments ago, in response to mounting concerns that the US would sell up to 60 million barrels of oil from the SPR, the Energy Department has no plan to take action "at this time" to tap into the nation's oil reserves, an Energy Department spokesperson said Thursday [10/7/2021].  The comments come after a report yesterday about U.S. energy secretary Jennifer Granholm raising the prospect of releasing crude oil from the strategic petroleum reserve.

Why Oil Prices Are About To Plunge Again: 31 Million Barrels In Floating Storage Are Coming On Shore.  One week ago, we wrote that as a result of the collapsing crude contango, oil tankers (such as the fully loaded Distya Akula which has been on anchor in the Suez Canal for one month unable to find a buyer for its cargo so it continues to wait) "will soon have to unload their cargo", in the process flooding the already oversupplied market with millions of barrels of crude oil, thus pushing the price of oil far lower.  But how many millions of barrels, and how much lower will the price of oil go?

Stunning Photos Of Huge Oil Supertanker Lines Forming "World's Biggest Traffic Jam".  Last week we revealed what we thought was a "shocking photo" of nearly 30 oil tankers caught in a traffic jam off the Iraqi coast, an indication of just how much excess oil is currently parked offshore.

Winter heating bills to be higher this year.  The combination of high prices — averaging $3.80 a gallon this season — and colder weather will drive fuel bills for heating oil consumers to around $2,500, on average, this winter, according to the US Energy Information Administration.  That's more than any previous winter on record, and roughly $400 more than consumers spent last season.

The Irrational, Non-Economic Exuberance Underlying Hydraulic Fracturing.  Contrary to the widely held belief that oil is scarce at the moment, the greater truth is that oil isn't expensive as much as the dollar is cheap.  Measured in the constant that is gold, an ounce of the yellow metal buys roughly the same amount of oil today as it did in 1971 when a barrel of oil traded for around $2.50.  Far from an energy crisis rooted in a short supply of oil, we have at present a dollar crisis that is creating the false illusion of energy scarcity.

Oil price set to soar as supply falls short of demand.  The oil price is tipped to rise this year as supply falls short of demand, fuelling volatility across commodities markets.  JPMorgan's New York-based oil research global head, Lawrence Eagles, said yesterday [6/8/2011] the investment bank expected oil would rise to $US130 a barrel by the third quarter.

Analyst predicts $200 oil could happen this year.  A Goldman Sachs analyst predicts that oil prices could reach $150 to $200 a barrel over the next 6 months to two years, but said that how far prices could climb still "remains a major uncertainty."  "We believe the current energy crisis may be coming to a head, as the lack of adequate supply growth is becoming apparent," analyst Arjun N. Murti wrote in a client note.

Will Oil Really Hit $200 a Barrel?  Once again, many market participants appear to believe that oil prices can only go up.  It seems that the painful lessons of the 2001 dot-com bust have been forgotten, as have the lessons of the much more recent U.S. housing crash.  In their state of forgetfulness, many pension funds and insurance companies have built up very large open positions in the oil futures market.  These positions are now estimated to total over $200 billion, roughly the equivalent of a full year of Chinese oil demand.

An ominous warning that the rapid rise in oil prices has only just begun.  The chief executive of the world's largest energy company has issued the most dire warning yet about the soaring the price of oil, predicting that it will hit $250 per barrel "in the foreseeable future".  The forecast from Alexey Miller, the head of the Kremlin-owned gas giant Gazprom, would herald the arrival of £2-per-litre petrol and send shockwaves through the economy.

$225/barrel oil predicted by 2012.  Prepare for gasoline prices to hit $2.25 a litre by 2012 and for crude oil to soar to $225 US a barrel as scant supply growth delivers us into the "age of scarcity," says CIBC World Markets chief economist Jeff Rubin.  "Our latest review of probable supply suggests oil production will hardly grow at all, with average daily production between now and 2012 rising by barely more than a million barrels per day. … He said there has been no growth in oil supply over the past two and half years….

[And -- IF it's true -- whose fault is that?]

Analysts warn of oil price bubble.  The flood of speculative investment into oil markets is inflating a price bubble that could pop and send crude prices sharply lower if U.S. petroleum demand continues to slump, analysts warned yesterday.  Crude prices continued their remarkable rally yesterday, rising 95 cents to close at another record high of $105.47 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Editor says...
Having lived in west Texas for many years, I can tell you that when a crude oil bubble bursts, things can get really messy.

A Primer on Oil Prices.  "The tripling of oil prices since the summer of 2003 has unleashed forces that within the next two or three years will bring oil prices tumbling back down to below $50 a barrel."  So said John Cassidy, writing about "The Coming Oil Crash" in the January issue of Conde Nast Portfolio.  Yes, the price of oil will come down, though no one knows exactly when.

Cheap Oil to Last, "Doomsday" Fears Overblown, Author Says.  Is the era of cheap oil really at an end?  Or could a glut send prices into a freefall?  Should Western countries fear energy blackmail from oil-rich powers?  There's no crystal ball to predict oil's future, but Leonardo Maugeri believes that much can be learned by looking at the industry's past.

Oil price 'abnormal' but $US78 achievable.  Crude oil prices above $US120 a barrel are "abnormal" and could fall to about $US78 under the right circumstances, OPEC president Chakib Khelil said in Jakarta yesterday.  "If the dollar continues to strengthen and the political situation (regarding Iran) improves, then the long-term prices will be about $US78," Mr Khelil said, adding the market was well supplied with oil.

Flashback to 2006...
Oil prices appear headed for $70.  While last summer's price spike triggered outrage in the US Congress and hurt sport utility vehicle sales, it caused only a hiccup in motor-fuel consumption.  And for now, with demand back on the rise, the economy seems capable of absorbing uncomfortably high prices.

Talk of $200 oil by year's end quietly fades.  Talk of $200-per-barrel oil prices by the end of the year has quietly faded away and been replaced by forecasts for $100.  It would be easy to say that crude oil has failed to meet market expectations, and a bear market may be in place.  But the harder part is to figure out how long and to what point oil prices will fall.

What to Make of Oil's Weakness.  Given the strong price correlations between the two commodities, many economic commentators wrote of the gold/oil relationship in terms of a 15:1 ounce/barrel ratio.  As the late Warren Brookes wrote in his 1982 book, The Economy In Mind, "In 1970 an ounce of gold ($35) would buy 15 barrels OPEC oil ($2.30/bbl).  In May 1981 an ounce of gold ($480) still bought 15 barrels of Saudi oil ($32/bbl).

Oil May Fall to $50 in Global Recession, Merrill Says.  Crude-oil prices may fall as low as $50 a barrel next year, about half current levels, in the "unlikely" event of a global recession, weighing on shares of petroleum producers, Merrill Lynch & Co. said. ... Merrill cut its 2009 average price estimate for West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark oil grade, by 16 percent to $90, citing falling demand and the start of new fields in [OPEC] Countries.

The Worst Predictions About 2008:  [#7]  "I think you'll see (oil prices at) $150 a barrel by the end of the year" — T. Boone Pickens, June 20, 2008.  Oil was then around $135 a barrel.  By late December it was below $40.

2009:  Wild Ride Ahead for Oil Prices.  Many of my colleagues have remarked that since supply and demand fundamentals in 2008 were not that different from historical levels, and prices approximately six times the hundred and fifty year mean, economics could not explain the elevated prices.  Which might be true, but an economist can and did.

Low prices are behind us.  Crude closed at $33.87 a barrel earlier this winter, and that's likely the lowest we'll see for some time.  Oil prices crossed the $50 a barrel mark Thursday [3/19/2009], the first time since early January.  Thursday's uptick is largely due to the falling dollar, but the underlying fundamentals in the oil market indicate low prices are behind us.

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Naimi Says Oil to Reach $75 a Barrel.  Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali al-Naimi said the price of oil will climb to $75 a barrel when demand picks up.  "We'll get there eventually," al-Naimi told reporters in Rome today [5/23/2009] where he will attend meetings with energy ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized nations.  "The trick is keeping it between $70 and $80.  It will be achieved as demand rises and the fundamentals are better than they are now."

Energy Expert: Oil to $20 a Barrel.  There could be a potential "tax break" the no one in the news has really picked up on with this ailing economy — a big drop in the price of oil.  Although the media hype price increases, oil prices are dropping and could be heading toward lows not seen since 1999.

EIA projects gasoline retail prices to average 3.15 per gallon in 2011.  According to the EIA Short Term Energy Outlook, the price of WTI crude oil is expected to average about $93 per barrel in 2011, $14 higher than the average price for 2010.

Tipping point for oil seen at $150 per barrel.  A top Federal Reserve official on Monday [3/7/2011] said the central bank should react if oil prices soar as high as $150 a barrel because prices that high could throw the economy back into recession.  Meanwhile, the White House is considering releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to curb the rapid rise in prices since unrest broke out in the Middle East last month.  Within weeks, the price of premium crude has jumped from near $90 to more than $106 per barrel in New York trading Monday [3/7/2011].

Rise in Oil Prices a Result of the Decline of the Dollar.  The rise in oil prices is not due to the laws of supply and demand regarding oil.  It is the result of the continued fall of the dollar.  As the Federal Reserve creates more money, the value of the dollar falls.  As the value of the dollar falls and oil producers demand more and more for each barrel, the price of crude goes up.  Despite what the politicians say about the oil companies, the greatest component of the price of gas is the cost of crude.  Crude oil is about 67% of the price per gallon, 7% for refining, 11% for distribution and marketing, and 15% for taxes.  Blaming the oil companies may be good for politics, but it is not good economics.

Oil Demand Flashes Red, Sending Crude Prices Even Lower.  It isn't just that there is too much oil sloshing around the world.  All of a sudden, there are fears of too little demand for the stuff too.  Oil prices continued to tumble Thursday, falling as much as 4%, with Brent crude, the international benchmark, falling to its lowest levels in 15 months.  The U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, traded for $46.61 early Thursday [12/20/2018] and is down almost 40% since a high in October.

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Updated March 8, 2022.

©2022 by Andrew K. Dart