A slow squeeze


The sky was the limit for oil prices in October. As soon as analysts predicted a new ‘possible high’, the crude futures price responded by climbing yet further and breaking another record. As of October 27, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light, sweet crude stood at $54.84 a barrel (bbl), some 50% above average 1973–2003 levels, although it has since dropped to below $50/bbl.

Yet many analysts feel that the world economy can absorb thsee high price levels, since it is the strength of the global