Are We Headed For Another Oil Shock?

One of my regular readers emailed today to note that the price of oil has been creeping up over the past six months:

Admittedly, oil prices are volatile, but it’s possible to see a pattern in longer-term views. The worldwide supply glut from fracking in the 2014-2016 window (which decreased prices) has been taken up by increasing demand. Now we are at supply-limited pricing again, with fracking included. So if there’s any shock to supply, unless the Saudis open up the spigots (if they can), the price will spike up. I don’t sense wide awareness of this.

That got me curious. Here’s what long-term oil prices look like over the past 40 years:

There’s nothing that looks especially concerning in these numbers, but the basic oil-recession cycle is fairly simple: (a) economic expansion leads to higher demand for oil, (b) demand eventually bumps up against supply constraints, (c) oil prices spike, (d) leading to a recession. However, the Energy Information Administration seems to think supply will continue to keep up with demand over the next couple of years:

For the time being, it doesn’t look like oil will be a constraint on growth in the near future. But ask me again next month and I might change my mind.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

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