What's Really Driving the High Price of Oil? By Ralph Nader "Oil was at $50 a barrel in January 2007, then $75 a barrel in August 2007. Now at $130 or so a barrel, it is clear that oil pricing is speculative activity, having very little to do with physical supply and demand. An essential productpetroleumis set by speculators operating on rumor, greed, and fear of wild predictions. Over the time since early 2007, U.S. demand for petroleum has fallen by 1 percent and world demand has risen by 1.3 percent. Supplies of crude are so plentiful, according to the Wall Street Journal, traders of physical crude oil say their market is suffering from too much supply, not too little. Iran, for instance, is storing 25 million barrels of heavy, sour crude oil because, in the words of Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Irans oil governor, "there are simply no buyers because the market has more than enough oil."" Ralph Nader: What's Really Driving the High Price of Oil?