If the Saudi Arabian oil minister is right, and OPEC succeeds in jacking up oil prices well above the July, 2008 record of $147 US a barrel, what would you think?
Good for the Newfoundland and Labrador treasury?
Good for the environment?
Just the other day, a CBC news story quoted Ali al-Naimi as saying that oil prices could surpass the record by the year 2012. In a nutshell, a boon for the OPEC nations that comes with much trepidation and concern for the consumers in North America and indeed, worldwide.
As oil prices hit the record of $147.23 a US barrel last July 7th, consumers were also facing the elevated price of heating oils that hit close on $1.24 a litre. The record heating oil price came close to killing the local heating oil industry here, leading to some radical changes in the ownership of the local dealers. Some retailers sold out leaving the industry here dominated by big oil rather than being influenced by the mom and pop operation.
If OPEC succeeds in driving prices in excess of the old record, will OPEC also succeed in killing the heating oil industry? Will we see an enforced conservation because people simply will not be able to afford to buy heating oils?
What of the affect on gasoline or diesel prices?
No doubt that pricing for refined commodities would hit the roof. The fact that OPEC is even of this way of thinking is both alarming, and a foreboding of the possibility of things to come if you're a heating oil user.
I don't think there's any consolation in OPEC's way of thinking and the provincial treasury simply would not be able to keep up even though the treasury would like the influx of cash. The reality is that OPEC is stepping on insecure ground and it's actions like driving up the price of oil could do more to impact demand by the consumer.
They could end up sshooting themselves in the foot...
But really...Isn't it time that Canadians insulate themselves from OPEC?