Monday, July 23, 2007


Okay, no guys named Otis [trying to stay with the Animal House theme of the month] that I could find had much to say about energy or oil. I did find a guy named Phil, which is kind of the white guy equivalent of Otis.

Also, a coupla Jeffs, a John, a Matthew, an Adam, and an Otter, er Peter, with the funniest headline of quite some time.

Investor's Business Daily: Oil Could Soar Past $100 On Demand, Some Argue.


"My line right now is that we're headed to triple-digit oil prices within three or four years and the first digit is not going to be a 1," said Philip Verleger, an economist who heads energy consultancy PK Verleger LLC.

He cited "huge" pent-up demand in China and the rest of Asia, lack of growth in production capacity and reduced investment in refineries amid local resistance to new sites, and worries about measures to fight global warming.

"We've created a situation where prices are going to go up a lot," said Verleger, a respected forecaster.

Bloomberg: $100 Oil May Be Months Away, Not Years, Say CIBC, Goldman.


Jeffrey Currie, a London-based commodity analyst at the world's biggest securities firm, says $95 crude is likely this year unless OPEC unexpectedly increases production, and declining inventories are raising the chances for $100 oil. Jeff Rubin at CIBC World Markets predicts $100 a barrel as soon as next year.

``We're only a headline of significance away from $100 oil,'' said John Kilduff, an analyst in the New York office of futures broker Man Financial Inc. ``The unrelenting pressure of increased demand has left the market a coiled spring.'' New disruptions of Nigerian or Iraqi supplies, or any military strike against Iran, might trigger the rise, Kilduff said in a July 20 interview.


``Ultimately, the key to the outlook going forward is when will Saudi Arabia ramp up production,'' he said in an interview. ``If you have a situation in which inventories globally get drawn to critically low levels, the volatility in this market is likely to explode, which significantly increases the probability of $100 oil.'' Oil might slip to $73.50 if OPEC were to start producing more now, he said.


The failure of near-record fuel prices to restrain global oil demand growth is what concerns Rubin, chief strategist at the brokerage unit of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto.

``Prices have doubled, and demand is alive and well and accelerating,'' he said in a July 18 interview. ``The argument that rising prices would choke demand and bring increased output is falling to the wayside.''


The cost of finding and pumping oil is rising steadily, convincing analysts such as Rubin and Deutsche Bank AG chief energy economist Adam Sieminski that higher prices will last. Shortages of deepwater drilling ships and rigs has pushed daily rents to records, and the skilled workers needed to run rigs, weld pipes, pilot vessels, fix refineries and build oil-sands projects command ever-higher wages.

``Three years ago we were calling for $30 oil, then $35 and then $40 oil,'' said New York-based Sieminski, who last week raised his forecast for the average price of oil in 2010 to $60 a barrel from $45.

``I've gotten tired of increasing these forecasts in $5 increments,'' Sieminski said in an interview. ``Something has happened. Costs have continued to escalate, and the geopolitical situation has gotten worse.''

The $60-a-barrel forecast for 2010 is 15 percent higher than the average analyst forecast, Sieminski said. The projection probably will turn out to be too low, he said.


The most inadvertently hilarious headline I've seen in a while:

Bloomberg Video: Beutel of Cameron Hanover Doubts Oil Will Reach $80 This Week.


PS. Note that when the "Oil is going to $100" noise reaches a crescendo, we tend to peak and go down. So be vigilant.