Oil prices will stay above 100 dollars a barrel for the next couple of years according to the latest poll of energy industry analysts.
They have sharply revised their forecasts up because of the political tensions in the Middle East.
And that means potentially rich pickings for Manoj Patel a small investor – or for those who blame him for pushing up prices a speculator.
He explains his business as: “High risk, high reward,” and said he doesn’t buy oil, he buys oil futures: “I have no use of a single barrel of oil, I just trade it from a trading perspective.”
Michael Greenberger, the former head of the US government regulator of commodity futures complains that has an effect for all of us. :
“It’s accelerating the price of all oil products, gasoline, crude oil, heating oil and other energy products, for no good reason,” Greenberger said.
His former employer, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is considering regulations to curb excessive speculation.
As for future prices, the only thing analysts agreed on is that protests in the Middle East and North Africa and the tragedy in Japan make it unusually difficult to forecast prices.
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