Wobbly Bubble

May 28, 2008 (AFP) – Oil prices slipped back under 127 dollars on Wednesday, falling further from record highs amid concern about the strength of US energy demand while traders digested Indonesia’s exit from OPEC. “The global economy is facing the third great oil shock of recent decades,” Brown wrote in the The Guardian newspaper. “It is now understood that a global shock on this scale requires global solutions.”

World oil prices have risen more than fourfold in the last five years, underpinned by growing demand in China and other emerging economies and tightening global energy supplies.

The price of oil on international markets has surged by a third since the start of 2008 and traded at 50 dollars per barrel 18 months ago — and just 10 dollars a decade ago.

Prices are also being supported by unrest in oil-producing countries — particularly Nigeria — and OPEC’s reluctance to hike output.

Indonesia said Wednesday that it would withdraw from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after years of declining exports.

The only Southeast Asian member of the cartel has become a net oil importer and will not bother to renew its OPEC membership at the end of this year, Energy and