Friday, May 09, 2008

Invasion-Occupation of Iraq and the Price of Gas

I'm not trying to say there's any kind of connection at all, cuz, nobody would have thought that an invasion, destruction and five+ year occupation of a Middle Eastern country that didn't pose an immediate threat to anyone in the region or beyond would have led to an exponential increase in the price of oil/gas.

It wasn't too long ago--2002 in fact--when oil was $25/barrel:

In the wake of the attack crude oil prices plummeted. Spot prices for the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate were down 35 percent by the middle of November. Under normal circumstances a drop in price of this magnitude would have resulted an another round of quota reductions but given the political climate OPEC delayed additional cuts until January 2002. It then reduced its quota by 1.5 million barrels per day and was joined by several non-OPEC producers including Russia who promised combined production cuts of an additional 462,500 barrels. This had the desired effect with oil prices moving into the $25 range by March, 2002. By mid-year the non-OPEC members were restoring their production cuts but prices continued to rise and U.S. inventories reached a 20-year low later in the year.

But no one could have been expected to have foreseen this.

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