Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Expect $60 oil soon?

clipped from

Here's how Littell sees it. Last year Saudi petrocrats thought demand would slacken at the same time that oil production rose from sources outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Nations. They cut back Saudi production from 9.5 million barrels a day in March 2006 to 8.5 million a year later in order to keep supply and demand balanced and crude prices hovering around $60 per barrel.

But the Saudis overestimated non-opec production.
Check out the relationship between prices and production in the accompanying chart. The Saudis hold the key to long-term oil prices since they are one of the few exporters--Kuwait and Abu Dhabi are the others--with the ability to increase production significantly.
How long before we get some relief?
Littell expects the impact of all that additional oil to hit U.S. markets in a couple of months or so. The Saudis "didn't plan on $80 oil," he says. "They wanted to keep it around $60 and did the wrong thing."
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