Crude Oil = $99

The inexorable climb higher:  Intra-day Crude prices crossed the $99 level, with expectations rising for more Fed cuts . . .

January Futures, 6 month chart

courtesy of

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. super-anon commented on Nov 26

    Hopefully this precludes more rate cuts in the near term. Even OPEC is saying this is just speculators driving oil prices up, not legitimate supply/demand issues (in the short-term anyhow). So I think it’s legit to call that inflation, but the credit-driven kind which usually reverses dramtically in the end.

    Look at that graph and see if you can tell when the Fed opened the discount window.

    Oil prices were actually falling before it became apparent that the Fed was going to make easy leverage more readily available to the hedge fund industry.

  2. michael schymacher commented on Nov 26

    made all the easier to accomplish $100 per barrel oil with the Fed providing the means to do it with.

    We now have a repo. for $8 billion for a period of 52 days. Big Banks looking for big help going into the YE.

    Seriously though did anyone not expect the market to soar last Friday?? Let’s see…low volume, junior traders, fresh pile of money from the fed…….

    It’s ridiculous that people still think that we have a free market. How can you even consider this when the Fed is providing “liquidity” (boy I love how the media defines that word as if it was’nt just printed up and backed by some POS asset)

    add the sporadic “auctions” by Hanky-Poo and this market is trading on a dream…..

    Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving……


  3. BDG123 commented on Nov 26

    That sure is a purty chart. With energy demand across some sectors at lows not seen in decades, we’ll see if traders have as much fun in the energy markets in the next three years as they did in the last three. This is likely one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated on the global society in the last half of a decade.

    Shoppers love high oil prices. They also like lead in their toys, the lowest wage growth in the last one hundred years, $4 Starbucks coffees, CEOs making 550x the average salary, Apple iPhones, banks playing Russian Roulette with their money and all of the fun holiday activities we are experiencing.

    But, what they really love is that emerging markets are replacing the US in the economic totem pole. Yeah right. Think we have problems, wait till the fun begins in those markets. It’ll make the US appear as heaven.

  4. super-anon commented on Nov 26

    Shoppers love high oil prices.

    Yeah, it surprises me to see oil being leveraged up. That’s so politically unpopular it’s like hedge fund suicide — it kind of forces more decisive action against speculation.

    At least people like it when big speculators are gearing up stock prices and real estate to insensible levels. Now they’re going to complain to their politicians.

  5. Cherry commented on Nov 26

    Oil will be down to 50b by this time next year.

  6. John Navin commented on Nov 26

    Barry, take a look at the negative divergences on the oil stock charts: XLE, OIH, COP, etc.

    Vs. the price of oil.

  7. ARISTOTLE commented on Nov 26

    Bennie’s gonna have no choice but to drop cash by the bucketfull when the banking crisis hits full stride.

    The DOLLAR – how low can you go?


  8. Will commented on Nov 26

    I’ve heard different predictions –

    oil will be $200-$300 / barrel

  9. sunsetbeachguy commented on Nov 26

    The BTU’s contained in 1 barrel of oil are roughly equivalent to the BTU output of a laborer for a year.

    Given that arbitrage opportunity, oil is a steal and will continue to be a steal until there is no more arbitrage value.

  10. Northern Observer commented on Nov 26

    Maybe oil is so high because it is the price of the last barrel of oil demanded that sets the price for the world market as opposed to average price of all aggregate demand for all oil.
    i.e. an almost perfectly inelastic supply curve meeting and almost perfectly inelastic demand curve. If this holds then the last barrel sold sets the world price.

  11. RealThink commented on Nov 26

    Below is the assessment of the current oil situation and prospects for 2008 I posted

    Let’s consider the following points:

    Re the USD (part 1):

    1. The fall in the dollar’s value since August 2007 has taken place against a backdrop of a slightly improving US trade deficit.

    2. From point 1., it is just logical to infer that, if the US trade deficit had instead worsened during that period, the dollar would have fallen further.

    Re crude oil prices and supply/demand balance:

    On Nov 20, 2006 WTI = $59 and EUR = $1.28, so WTI = EUR 46.
    On Nov 20, 2007 WTI = $98 and EUR = $1.48, so WTI = EUR 66.
    That’s for a WTI price rise of 66% in dollars and 44% in euros in a year.

    4. This yearly WTI price rise cannot be explained by Iran-related geopolitical tensions, which were actually higher a year ago. It cannot be explained by speculative pressure either, since NYMEX net positions a year ago and now are fairly similar. Therefore the price rise can only be explained by a deterioration in physical supply and demand balance.

    5. To support the inference in point 4., it’s worth noting that,
    on Nov 21, 2005 WTI = $58 and EUR = $1.18, so WTI = EUR 49.

    However, on Nov 2005 speculative positions at NYMEX were net short at historic record levels, so a year later we had both increased speculative pressure and increased geopolitical tensions, yet the oil price was roughly the same. Therefore, reasoning like in point 4., we deduce that supply and demand balance should have improved during 2006. And indeed, as we see in the IEA Oil Market Report (OMR) at, total OECD closing stocks were:
    for 4Q2005, 4083 mb amounting to 81 days of forward demand
    for 4Q2006, 4180 mb amounting to 84 days of forward demand

    6. In contrast, and adding support to point 4., OECD closing stocks for 2Q2007 were the same as for 2Q2006 (in mb and days). But more importantly, OECD stocks experienced a net *draw* of 380 kb/d during 3Q2007, contrasting with a 1160 kb/d net *build* in 3Q2006, and an average 280 kb/d 3Q net *build* over the past five years (and anecdotically, with Japanese crude stocks falling to their lowest level in at least 20 years.) Which clearly shows the worsening in supply/demand balance over 2007.

    Re oil production:

    7. According to the EIA, world oil production peaked on a monthly basis on May 2005 for (Crude Oil + lease condensate = CO) as well as for (Crude Oil + lease condensate + Natural Gas Plant Liquids = CO + NGL). If we consider All Liquids (which includes biofuels) then the peak month was July 2006.

    8. Also from the EIA, for all 3 categories (CO, CO +NGL and All Liquids), production for the first half of 2007 has been the same as (actually slightly lower than) that for the first half of 2006 (73.23 vs 73.48, 81.20 vs 81.26, and 84.28 vs 84.35 mb/d respectively).

    9. There are strong reasons that expect that 2008 world oil production will not be higher than in 2007, as shown by Stuart Staniford at

    Re oil demand and price projection:

    10. According to the latest (Nov 13) IEA OMR, average global oil demand was/is expected to be:
    for 2006: 84.7 mb/d
    for 2007: 85.7 mb/d (+1.2%)
    for 2008: 87.7 mb/d (+2.3%)

    11. Therefore, with constant production over the 3 years, if a 1.2% increase in demand caused in 44% increase in price in euros, a 2.3% increase in demand can be expected to cause a 44 x 2.3/1.2 = 84% price increase in euros, to a price in Nov 2008 of EUR 121. Assuming EURUSD stays at 1.48, that’s $180. (Realistically, it is very unlikely that stocks experience such big drawdowns during 2008 as to meet all of the projected demand. Rather, the estimated price can be reasonably thought of as that needed for causing the amount of demand destruction that will allow stocks to remain at acceptable levels.)

    Re the USD (part 2) and the US economy.

    12. However, the EURUSD = 1.48 (and consequent WTI = $180) assumption in point 11. may not be realistic for the following reasons:

    a. If US oil and petroleum products imports remain constant, an 84% increase in the oil price can be expected to cause the US trade deficit to worsen, which in turn can be expected to cause a further fall in the dollar (as per points 1. and 2.).

    b. An 84% oil price rise will greatly increase the current account surplus of oil exporters and as a result their foreign exchange reserves, very likely to the point of compelling them to at last unpeg their currencies from the dollar and further diversify their foreign exchange reserves from it.

    c. Moreover, the $200+ oil price expected to result from factors a. and b. can in turn be expected to increase the pressure for oil exporters to start pricing and trading their resource in other currency/ies, thus adding further downward pressure to the dollar and conceivably taking it to its “Wily E. Coyote moment”.

    13. In assessing the impact of a doubling of the oil price on the US economy, (neo)classical economic analysis can be expected to point out that the share of energy in US GDP is still low. Recent oil price action, however, shows how easy it is for the oil price to double, and a doubling here, a doubling there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real share. Therefore a $200+ oil price (which BTW assumes peace and love between the US and Iran) can be reasonably expected to add significant inflationary pressures in the US. If, however, the US Federal Reserve adjusts its monetary policy REACTING to those inflationary pressures once they are manifest, it is very likely that by then the dollar will have already lost a substantial part of its international trade and reserve currency status.


    The currently expected oil supply and demand situation for 2008 portends at least a doubling in the dollar oil price and poses a significant risk of triggering the much-feared collapse in the dollar value. The only alternative is a significant “endogenous” (i.e. not due to higher oil prices) reduction in oil consumption in the main consumers (US, Europe and China, in that order). Which in turn can be reasonably expected to occur only as a result of a US-led OECD recession (causing a Chinese deceleration of economic growth). A new Fed monetary policy focused on the preservation of the dollar value for international transactions through checking its global supply growth can do the trick.

    If the ECB does not have the nerve to follow a similar path, and issues whatever amounts of euros are needed e.g. to prevent any recession to happen or any bank from falling, that will lay to rest the expectations of the euro challenging the dollar status as the main international trade and reserve currency.

Read this next.

Posted Under