Part of the uncertainty lies in what is going to happen to the Chinese economy. In 2004, global oil consumption grew by 3.7 percent to 83 million barrels, more than twice the average annual growth over the past decade. China alone accounted for a third of that growth. Its demand for oil surged 15 percent.
This year, Chinese growth is expected to subside somewhat, expanding at a rate of 3.3 percent, according to the energy agency. Growth is expected to pick up again in 2006, though, rising an estimated 6 percent, thanks to strong car sales and electricity generation.
But such wild swings have led some analysts to express doubts about the reliability of information from China. The reality is that it will take some time before anyone knows for sure what Chinese demand will be.
A possibly of decling in demand in China.... that could push prices down by a lot.
but even better is this nugget
In a widely read and much-discussed report, Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a consulting firm in Massachusetts, estimated that global production would grow by 16 million barrels - a jump of nearly 20 percent - by 2010, far outstripping the estimated growth in demand over that period.
For oil executives, the experiences of the 1985 and 1998 price collapses remain a stronger influence than their belief that the world has entered a period of more expensive energy.
So the prospects of lower energy prices in 2008 are realistic, major reductions of troops in Iraq... the Democrats aren't getting a break