The International Energy Agency's upcoming World Energy Outlook predicts that oil prices, which have sunk to nearly $60 per barrel, will likely rise once again to above $100 a barrel when the world economy rebounds. By 2030, the report estimates that the prices could exceed $200.
This price increase will be driven primarily by a decline in the supply of oil, as production from the world's older oil fields begins to slow. In order to counter this decline in production and provide for the growing demand in developing countries, the IEA estimates that oil companies will have to invest $350 billion each year until 2030 to develop new fields and improve their equipment. Naturally, that cost will be passed on to the consumer.
I'm reminded of Tony Soprano's famous advice to buy real estate: "Because God's not making any more of it." That maxim may not be working out so well these days when it comes to real estate in particular, but investors should certainly keep it in mind when it comes to oil.
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