Last April, as the country was going through another fit over rising gasoline prices I cited a couple of experts in my column, Whither Gasoline Prices?, who suggested that oil prices would likely fall to around $80 per barrel later this year. From the column:
While both Evans and Lynch acknowledge that oil markets experience big price swings, they believe that oil will settle for the foreseeable future at around $80 to $85 per barrel. From their point of view, this price encourages adequate investment in exploration and production, while not dramatically discouraging consumption.
Well, guess what? It's around $80 per barrel now. But before I get too smug about my perspicacity in selecting which experts to quote, I note that I ended the April column thusly:
A final note: When contemplating the future of oil prices, one should always keep in mind U.S. foreign service officer James Akins' observation, "Oil experts, economists, and government officials who have attempted in recent years to predict the future demand and the prices of oil have had only marginally better success than those who foretell the advent of earthquakes or the second coming of the Messiah." Akins wrote that in 1973.