Predicting the Price of

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The fluctuating prices of oil can be considered to be one of the most important issues of political and economic analyses during the last years. It is practically impossible to find any natural resource, which future price is as hard to predict as the price of oil. Unfortunately the prediction's hardness concerns not only the long-term perspective of the prices, but also the short term one.

According to the International Energy Outlook 2002 the oil prices until 2020 would not exceed $ 40 (International Energy Outlook, 2002. p. 26). After 3 years the International Energy Outlook 2005 stated that in 2020 the maximum price for crude oil would be around $50 (International Energy Outlook, 2005. p. 28). Finally, the International Energy Outlook 2007 predicted an $ 80 price for one barrel of crude oil in 2020 (International Energy Outlook, 2007. p. 30)

The main problem here is not the inadequacy of the predictions for 2020, but the fact that this article is written at a moment, when one barrel of crude oil costs more than $ 140 and that it is not possible to find data or analyses in 2007, which predict a $ 140 a barrel price for 2008. The inadequacy of price prediction has many explanations: the technical methodology used in energy outlooks and prediction studies, the instability of politics in the Middle East, speculations in world energy markets, etc. At the same time these explanations can not change the fact that producers and consumers of oil as well as scientists, who study the actual problems of energy policy and security, at best have only a rough notion about the future price of oil - a resource that plays an unprecedented important role in the modern world.

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