One of the main issues in the commercial trade is the oil export import trade. On July 2008 the crude hit a record high of USD 147 and after many bounces back and forth we are now with a price around USD 50 for the first time since November . Many analyst believe that we are in a road to higher prices all along 2009. But the current economic downturn is global and severe so the worldwide demand is expected to decrease a 1,6% this year according to the Energy Information Administration. Also due to the actual economic collapse many research expensive projects -unconventional oil or deepwater exploration- are being pulled back, while the OPEC, trying to keep oil above USD 50 per barrel with a goal of cutting 4.2 million barrels a day from its member’s daily production (from a global amount of almost 25 million).
So in the following years there could be two ways of heading this issue: One will put the emphasis in environmental costs and the need to develop clean energy alternative sources (is not Warren Buffet promoting a Chinese electric car?) . The other one would try to maintain the favour in the oil sector, with some reasons as the economic return: The Amex oil index trades at six times its earnings or the consequences of the US government spending that could drive down the value of dollar, hence a weaker USD will put pressure on the price of oil.
If its not clear if in the following years there would be more prudence on the consumption -it looks clear that the last years run up is over-, we would have more environmental pressure or the increase of demand in countries as Mexico, Brazil or Russia -with their own moguls as PEMEX , PETROBRAS or YUKOS would head us back to a USD 147 oil barrel