Four years ago, when I was still chief economist at CIBC World Markets, I forecast that global economic growth was on pace to send oil prices (CL-FT90.60-0.06-0.07%) to $200 (U.S.) a barrel by 2012. In short, the argument was based on a supply-driven analysis that weighed the sources of future oil supply against the prices that would be needed to make the extraction and processing of that oil economically viable.
Since that call (which clearly hasn’t come to pass) received some attention at the time, it feels fitting to spend a few words discussing what happened to derail the projection. That particular analysis, unfortunately, didn’t adequately address the stifling impact that rising oil prices would have on economic growth. At the time, a constrained outlook for global production growth against a backdrop of runaway demand meant prices had nowhere to go but up. As subsequent events would dramatically demonstrate, though, triple-digit prices had a much more critical effect on demand than supply.
By the time oil reached $147 a barrel, the economic drag was more than sufficient to trigger a chain reaction of events—including spurring higher interest rates which pricked the U.S. sub-prime mortgage bubble—that ushered in the deepest global recession of the post-war era. Instead of marching towards $200 a barrel, oil prices abruptly reversed course and plunged all the way to $40 a barrel.
via Whatever happened to $200 oil? – The Globe and Mail.