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Oil Jitters

January 4, 2008 • Volume 18, Issue 1
Are the days of cheap oil gone forever?
By Peter Katel

Introduction

Concern about oil supplies pushes gas prices over $4 a gallon at a San Francisco Shell station on March 30, 2007. In December, crude oil prices nearly hit $100 a barrel.  (Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)
Concern about oil supplies pushes gas prices over $4 a gallon at a San Francisco Shell station on March 30, 2007. In December, crude oil prices nearly hit $100 a barrel. (Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)

Vastly increased demand for oil in rapidly modernizing China and India, warfare and instability in the Middle East and the weakening U.S. dollar have revived fears of a new energy crisis. Gasoline shortages — and the accompanying lines at gas stations — were thought to have ended with the Jimmy Carter administration. But as 2008 began, American drivers were paying more than $3 a gallon, and crude oil hit a milestone — $100 a barrel. Some oil experts warn of even bigger price shocks to come as oil-producing nations use more and more of their own oil, and energy demand jumps 50 percent by 2030. Some experts predict an oil "production crunch" within four to five years that will have severe geopolitical and economic impacts, and one expert says the energy supply-demand gap could create "social chaos and war" by 2020. In any event, the days of cheap, plentiful oil appear to be over, and motorists may have to learn how to conserve energy.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Oil and Gasoline Prices
Jun. 22, 2012  U.S. Oil Dependence
Nov. 01, 2011  Future of the Gulf States
Jan. 04, 2008  Oil JittersUpdated
Jul. 2007  Energy Nationalism
Sep. 30, 2005  Domestic Energy Development
Jan. 24, 2003  Oil Diplomacy
Aug. 07, 1998  Oil Production in the 21st Century
Aug. 23, 1991  Oil Imports
Oct. 30, 1987  Persian Gulf Oil
Apr. 04, 1986  Oil Prices
Dec. 23, 1983  Quest for Energy Independence
Sep. 23, 1983  OPEC: 10 Years After the Arab Oil Boycott
May 29, 1981  Western Oil Boom
Aug. 25, 1978  Oil Imports
Feb. 10, 1978  Oil Antitrust Action
Dec. 17, 1976  Alaskan Development
May 17, 1974  Arab Oil Money
Mar. 15, 1974  Oil Taxation
Jul. 18, 1973  Offshore Oil Search
Mar. 28, 1973  Persian Gulf Oil
Nov. 01, 1972  Gasoline Prices
Oct. 14, 1970  Fuel Shortages
Nov. 12, 1969  Alaskan Oil Boom
Dec. 11, 1968  Oil Shale Development
Oct. 26, 1960  World Oil Glut
Sep. 10, 1958  Middle East Oil
Oct. 30, 1951  Oil Nationalization
Aug. 11, 1950  Oil Imports
Apr. 23, 1947  Oil of the Middle East
Jan. 22, 1946  Offshore Oil
Mar. 09, 1944  Oil Supply
Dec. 24, 1935  Oil in World Politics
May 07, 1931  Control of Production in the Oil Industry
Mar. 27, 1929  The Oil Leasing Policy of the New Administration
Jun. 08, 1927  Oil Conservation and Stabilization
Feb. 08, 1926  The Mexican Land and Petroleum Laws
Apr. 18, 1925  The Price of Gasoline
Feb. 11, 1924  Background of the Oil Lease Cases
Sep. 01, 1923  Gasoline
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Oil and Natural Gas
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