Editorial - Oil market: 2005

Will the oil-market strength of 2004 continue through 2005? The question can have no certain answer so soon in the year. There are too many variables, too many of them impossible to predict.It is possible, however, to isolate three major factors in a market that pushed crude prices briefly to more than $55/bbl last year and to speculate about their durability in the year just begun.Prime among those factors is demand. The International Energy Agency estimates average global demand in 2004 at 82.4 million b/d, up 2.6 million b/d from 2003. The increase was the biggest since 1976.Demand grew despite the surge in oil prices. Simple economics says this can't continue. Complex economics su...

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