Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sky High Oil....

So the oil price is at all time high levels- as the following graph shows (although this data series stops in March 2007: the price is now over $80/Barrel).

But is it really? First, here's the real price of oil- still significantly below the level attained in 1980, shortly after the Iranian Revolution.

But there's another reason to downplay the massive growth in the price of oil. It just happens to be reported in US dollars, which have been losing value against almost all other currencies in recent months.

Here is the real price of oil faced by consumers in the United Kingdom, by comparison. Yes, the price of oil is up, but hardly by the spectacular levels we'd imagine when we read the headline figures- especially for countries with exchange rates that have appreciated against the USD. in fact, because oil happens to be priced in USD, a fall in the value of the greenback will naturally increase the price of oil irrespective of the supply and demand for "black gold."

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