Oil and gas prices and the related exchange traded funds (ETFs) have seen unprecedented volatility in the last year. It’s led to all kinds of speculation: that speculators are to blame, that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) may clamp down on such speculation and that high prices may be the norm from here on out.
There are reports floating around that the CFTC is preparing to blame speculators for the run-up in energy prices. However, Reuters reports that the CFTC head dismissed the rumors as both “premature” and “inaccurate.” The CFTC is in the midst of three hearings, the first of which took place today.
Britain’s financial regulator today has found no evidence that speculators are behind wild swings in oil prices, report Alistair MacDonald and Carolyn Cui for The Wall Street Journal. Instead, the regulator may attribute it to economic uncertainty.
Some believe that the production of oil, natural gas and coal are going to peak and go into a decline within the next decade. There is nothing that technology can do to save the resources themselves, and production will just continue to wane as we stop using the commodities.
Chris Nelder for Forbes says that “peak oil” is not about running out of oil, it is about reaching the peak rate of production, as we tap out of the resource. As of now, there are no cheaper substitutes snd oil production is expected to go into terminal decline by around 2012. The major oil fields are being depleted, and new discoveries are smaller and of less quality.