Crude oil futures declined on Wednesday, reflecting nervousness about the state of the global economy.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude oil futures for December delivery slipped 84 cents to trade at $81.50 per barrel. Brent crude oil futures for January 2011 delivery on the IntercontinentalExchange slid 46 cents to $84.34 per barrel.
"The deteriorating situation in the euro zone is dovetailing with an increasingly worrisome situation in China. Markets there are definitely picking up a tightening scent wafting through the economy," said MF Global analyst Edward Meir in a client note reported by the Wall Street Journal.
What about the longer term, though? Interestingly enough, the International Energy Agency, created in the wake of the 1970s oil shocks, recently released its annual report, which states two intriguing facts. First, the IEA says that global oil production has peaked; second, it says that this occurred in 2006.
The IEA believes oil production will plateau until at least 2035, as declining production in existing oil fields is offset by supplies coming online from existing but undeveloped and undiscovered resources. Natural gas liquids and "unconventional" sources of petroleum will also play a role, according to the group.
They have a target oil price of $135 per barrel by 2035.
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