Why higher oil prices are inevitable this year, rest of decade

HUBBERT REVISITED—4The stubborn refusal of oil prices to drop in recent months has amplified doubts regarding the adequacy of near-term oil supplies and the long-term outlook for crude oil prices. Within the first 6 months of 2004, average spot market prices increased by more than $5/bbl (see table). Click here to enlarge imageGiven the International Energy Agency's projection that demand will increase by 3 million b/d by yearend1 and the limited availability of excess capacity,2 additional price increases clearly are inevitable. Click here to enlarge imageThe most recent escalation in oil prices originated in 2000 but was temporarily obscured by the economic rollback followi...

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