Arjun N. Murti remembers the pain of the oil shocks of the 1970s. But he is bracing for something far worse now: He foresees a “super spike” — a price surge that will soon drive crude oil to $200 a barrel.
Arjun Murti at Goldman Sachs studied the 1970s’ oil spikes. One had drivers lined up at a gas station in San Jose, Calif., in 1974.
The oil options pit at the New York Mercantile Exchange; oil prices touched $129.60 Tuesday.
Mr. Murti, who has a bit of a green streak, is not bothered much by the prospect of even higher oil prices, figuring it might finally prompt America to become more energy efficient.
Mr. Murti is hardly alone in predicting higher oil prices. Boone Pickens, the oilman turned corporate raider, said Tuesday that crude would hit $150 this year. But many analysts are no longer so sure where oil is going, at least in the short term.
Some say prices will fall as low as $70 a barrel by year-end, according to Thomson Financial.
Experts disagree over the supply of oil, the demand for it and whether recent speculation in the commodities markets has artificially raised prices.
As an energy analyst at Citigroup, Tim Evans, reportedly put it, trading commodities these days is like “sticking your hand in a blender.”
Whatever the case, oil analysts like Mr. Murti have suddenly taken on the aura that enveloped technology analysts in the 1990s.
- AND WE ALL NOW HOW THAT ENDED: THE BUBBLE BURST!