|SAs of October 1, WTI crude oil prices peaked
this year at $49.76 on September 28, after having risen from about $30 in
|SThis is a significant change from what we
experienced in much of the 1990ís, when prices seemed to average close to $20
|SAfter prices plunged to almost $10 per barrel
in late 1998 as a result of the Asian financial crisis slowing demand growth
just when extra supply from Iraq was entering the market for the first time
since the Gulf War.
|SOPEC reacted by pulling back production, and
we saw prices not only recover, but increase to what seemed to be a new level
of about $30 per barrel.
|SIs the recent run-up a harbinger of a new even
higher level, and what is behind this latest increase in price?