"The oil market sentiment remains bullish ... there is an overall upward trend toward the $100 level," said Victor Shum, energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore. "Meanwhile, we can expect extreme volatility where on the one hand some traders will take profit while others will buy back positions."
Global Insight energy analyst Simon Wardell was even more unequivocal.
"The run on $100 ... (a barrel) now seems inevitable," he said in a research note. "In the short term all eyes will be fixed on the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration ... inventory data."
Those figures to be released later Wednesday are expected to show crude supplies dropped last week. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires predict, on average, that crude oil inventories fell by 1.6 million barrels.
"The price rise is really driven by expectations of drawdowns in crude oil and distillate stocks inventories in the U.S. inventory report," said Shum. "Some cold weather reports out of the U.S. and Europe serve as a reminder that winter is coming and that there are still supply concerns."
This from a USA Today article that spares us any reference to the inflation-adjusted all-time record—thumbsucking platitudes like these from 2005:
Crude oil futures are about 50 percent above year ago levels, though still below the inflation-adjusted high above $90 a barrel reached in 1980 [...]or
Oil prices are now 67 percent higher than a year ago, but still well below the inflation-adjusted high above $90 a barrel set in 1980.
Probably because prices are no longer well below the inflation-adjusted high, and according to an article about the IEA's 2007 report titled World Energy Outlook in this week's Time magazine, unlikely to go back down in the forseeable future. The New York Times ran an article today on the early effects the new pricing is having on global political and economic power structures. Both are interesting reading.
Meanwhile, we had our first hard freeze in Madison last night, down to 24 degrees. Leaves were dropping from the trees like snow this morning at sunup.