Oil Price Could Doom Obama
by Llewellyn King of OilPrice.com
Like death and taxes, the price of oil is always with us. And like taxes, it may be President Barack Obama’s worst nightmare at election time next year.
Among forecasters, there is a sharp division between those who see an inexorable rise in the price of oil and those who believe it will stabilize about where it is now.
The hawks see gasoline streaking ahead to $4-a-gallon this year and $5-a-gallon in 2012.
Others say demand will collapse and it won’t go that high. The Energy Information Administration is very conservative in its forecasts and it gives very high prices only a 10-percent chance of coming about.
Adding to the confusion is a nasty little spat between the International Energy Agency in Paris and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries over price, inventory and what OPEC calls “technical factors,” such as pipelines down for repair or the loss of the Deep Water Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico last year. IEA is saying that OPEC is keeping its production quotas low to jack up the price—currently just over $90 a barrel and the highest grade Brent crude from the North Sea as high as $99 a barrel—and it is endangering the global recovery with its actions.