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Pretty much all info about oil prices, especially in the mainstream press, is pure BS. Even the most credible sources have to be parsed with other credible sources, and even then one only has a hazy picture.

A relatively good source:

While the U.S. unconventionals are increasing regional supply, certain other global supplies are dwindling. Saudi Arabia pulled about 500 mbpd in December. And while U.S. oil demand continues to decline, China's demand is rising faster. As oil is priced on the global scale, regional trends are only a part of the picture.

Speculation certainly adds to the price, but it's only a fraction of the reason for the current high (and rising) prices. We're caught in a vice grip on prices now, where if oil prices drop below a certain level ($50-$80), it causes a wide range of problems. It would suddenly make unconventionals unprofitable again, and nations like Saudi Arabia currently need the high prices to fund subsidies to its citizens and prevent internal crises. So, if oil drops too low, those sources potentially have problems, and the overall picture only gets worse.

But, if oil stays above $80, then the Western countries have problems with easy economic growth - and so you have Keynesian responses like QE Infinity and zero percent interest rates. This also is a trap - it's a one-way street that can neither be ended without economic chaos or continued indefinitely.

I just see signs that we're in the end game. Everyone is in 'extend and pretend' mode, and the greatest worry is doing something that will cause the markets to suddenly realize they're standing on air, with the 'optimistic' hope that a miracle will come along to cause everything to get back on solid ground and keep going as it has the past century.

But the likeliest outcome is continuously rising gas prices reaching higher and higher until it triggers another (at least acknowledged) recession.

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