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Energy Execs See Big Increases to Come in Oil Prices

Two-thirds see petroleum topping $120 a barrel.

by on May.20, 2011


Expect to be paying more for what's pumped out of the ground, oil industry execs warn.

Weary Americans will likely see prices at the pump continuing to soar, according to a survey of 550 energy industry executives, though not necessarily to the record levels of mid-2008.

Nonetheless, with 64% anticipating crude oil will reach $121 a barrel this year – about 20% more than it’s been trading at lately – that will almost certainly mean more pain at the pump, where U.S. motorists are now paying an average of around $4 per gallon for self-serve regular.

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As might be expected at a time when the Mideast is in turmoil, Western economies are showing new signs of instability, and emerging markets are demanding a bigger share of the barrel, oil prices are more unstable than they have been in years – a fact reflected in the results of the survey by the KPMG Global Energy Institute.

While a third of the executives predicted oil prices will peak between $121 and $130 a barrel, another third see even higher prices coming.  A full 17% foresaw a high of as much as $140, while 9% thought oil would reach a peak of $150.  On the fringe, 6% thought crude would go even higher.