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.
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.