Lust for oil soaring outside U.S.

Marketplace Staff Apr 17, 2008


Renita Jablonski: One guess for what set today’s record… three letters, lots of implications. That wasn’t too hard. Yeah, it’s oil. U.S. crude was trading well over $115 a barrel in London this morning. As Stephen Beard reports, speculation and uncertainty about oil supply lines are fueling this boom.

Stephen Beard: Hedge funds are betting that oil supplies will come under increasing pressure. Nigeria is one area of concern. Africa’s largest producer could be pumping 30 percent less oil within a decade, according to one report. And Russian oil production may have peaked, says a senior executive in Moscow. Meanwhile, demand for oil is growing incessantly, especially in China. Rob Lachlan is a senior trader with MF Global.

Rob Lachlan: China has an insatiable lust for oil. Certainly its demand for diesel and a lot of oil products is booming. We have to take into account they’re holding the Olympics. And that’s a dominant factor in demand.

Investors seem to believe that the growing thirst for oil in China and India could even cancel out decreasing demand in the U.S.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.