I’ve been banging on about this, I know, but two more signals pointing in that direction from last week are worth noting. One was an FT piece by Nick Butler (VP for Strategy at BP for a long time, now at the Judge Business School at Cambridge), in which he argues the current price dip is just a “lull in the storm“. The other is a new report entitled The Coming Oil Supply Crunch by Paul Stevens, a colleague at Chatham House. He says:
…unless there is a collapse in oil demand within the next five to ten years, there will be a serious oil ‘supply crunch’ – not because of below-ground resource constraints but because of inadequate investment by international oil companies (IOCs) and national oil companies (NOCs).
Conclusion: “a spike of over $200 is possible”. Meanwhile, the CIBC paper entitled Could Soaring Transport Costs Reverse Globalisation? (pdf here – scroll to 2nd item), which I posted on at the start of June, has been continuing to do the rounds: the New York Times had an article on it on 3 August, and Reuters picked it up in a widely syndicated piece a week later. Paul Krugman flags up a new NBER Working Paper on the same issue, and concludes:
If high oil prices persist, we could be seeing a large drop in world trade.