Remember when, a few short months ago, the whole planet was panicked about cripplingly high oil prices? That’s changed in a hurry. Crude prices are now plummeting. Oil in London is trading for $96 per barrel, way down from $126 back in February.
The big reason why: supply and demand. The world is pumping out more oil and other liquid fuels right at the moment when the global economy is starting to slacken and people are using less of the stuff. Matthew Phillips of BloombergBusinessweek offers up this great chart:
So where did this extra oil* come from? Some of it was tapped from new unconventional supplies in the United States and Canada. But OPEC countries have also been cranking up crude production in the past year. Iraq is slowly rebuilding its oil industry. And Saudi Arabia has added about 1 million barrels per day in the past year, to the point where it’s now pumping out more oil than it has in the past three decades.