NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Speculation for crude has been rampant over the past six months. Despite the fact that we are merely one month and 0.03% away from making an all-time high in crude oil supplies, we're seeing WTI crude at $102.76. If the price was based purely on a supply/demand theory, we should be in the low $80s.
We've all heard market pundits mention the U.S. should repeal all the laws prohibiting the exportation of crude oil. What they don't mention is these laws have not prevented these companies from exporting all forms of refined products. We have doubled our exports of gasoline in the past five years. Despite this, people are paying about $4 per gallon at the pump. Regardless of what you feel about fracking, it has produced huge amounts of oil.
Recently, U.S. refineries decreased production to about 9.5 million barrels a day. Despite this decrease we saw an uptick in the surplus of gasoline by 0.2 million barrels. This shows us the demand is slightly down while prices continue to climb.
Why? Well there have been several reasons over the last six months to believe that crude may spike. Russia, a major producer, was playing a risky game of geopolitics with Ukraine and the rest of Europe. Things were tense and worries were high that the supply they gave Europe could be turned off. Libya, a very minor producer in the global landscape, had a revolt where rebels stormed the capital. They were already only running on a fraction of capacity. Iran, another major player, had been hit with major sanctions limiting its output.