Oil-price patterns—1: Oil prices reflect uneven growth rates of global demand and supply

Manouchehr Takin Centre for Global Energy Studies London The price of oil rose from below $30/bbl to more than $145/bbl (all in money of the day) between 2004 and 2008 (Fig. 1). This was unprecedented. The price had fluctuated within the $20-30/bbl range in the previous 2 decades, and the fivefold increase over a period of about 4 years was a shock. The reason for the price rise remains a major question and subject of debate. Numerous explanations are given for the unprecedented rise of the price of oil in the mid-2000s. Blaming the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is the most common of them. It is argued that the organization was slow to increase its production, and when it...

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