The government says supply/demand fundamentals are guiding oil. OPEC says it is speculation. Who do you believe? Strange times, where I'm more likely to trust OPEC than our government (whose track record is lousy: they said the California energy crisis was fundamentals driven, enabled the Enron loophole, and have lied about almost everything of any importance lately: Iraq WMD, Gitmo, Torture, etc). I'd rather believe the 'terrorists' (who the liars declare should be our sworn bogeyman). (My Opinion Regardless, inventories of US crude are down y/y, but products have equally offset that reduction. Long term fundamentals point to falling production, yet inelasticity of the market is enabling price to move freely in both directions. Long term habit changes as well as a -global- deflationary economic environment should point to reduced aggregate demand, and thus likely reduced energy demand. So we're finding the price the market will bear. Just as easily as it can be $150, I believe it can be $48 (just 20 months or so ago). Such is the story of items with low elasticity, and lends credibility to the point that price *volatility*, not level, is the only thing tied to the fundamentals of this market. Any credible economist can easily conclude that without a good global aggregrate demand analysis, the CFTC or US govt has no basis to conclude the validity of price, since that is what is necessary. I highly doubt their (CFTC/govt) models are sophisticated enough to factor in falling Chinese and Indian demand (due to both reduced subsidies and their decreased competitiveness due to high shipping rates), European and US falling demand, analysis of global and changing monetary supply aggregates, and the complementary production story. Most intelligent conclusion: It's anyone's guess, and anyone saying anything with absolute conviction from a place of power likely has an agenda.