Why Oil Costs Over $120 Per Barrel

If you're not hip to the looming global energy crisis, just wait until the National Guard is dispatched to quell riots at your local ARCO. The world has gorged itself on oil but the tap is running dry and the hangover won't be fun.

A recent post from The Oil Drum explains why oil costs over $120 per barrel today. A quick summary: 1) Spare production capacity has basically dropped to zero, 2) Traditional oil exporters, like Indonesia, are keeping more of their oil to fuel their own growth, 3) All of our oil fields are becoming less productive over time due to a natural phenomenon called, appropriately, "decline."

The full post is long, but skimming for the graphs and the bold points is totally worth it. Their conclusion? "We are now in the early stages of a full blown energy crisis that was predictable if not wholly avoidable... Taxation structure needs to be adjusted to oblige energy producing companies to re-invest wind fall profits in alternative energy sources on a truly massive scale."