The New Economics Of Oil

With technology dragging down the cost of finding and producing the precious stuff, prices won't rise--even as demand soars

Crude-oil prices have been careening like steel balls in a pinball machine this autumn in response to news and rumors from the Middle East. In the first few days of October, the threat of armed conflict between Iran and Iraq sent crude prices soaring from $20 a barrel to almost $23, before sinking back down again.

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