Discussions about the recent high oil prices have often revolved around the question of whether speculators are responsible, as apposed to Peak Oil or political instability.
Oddly, no one seems to ask the inverse. Weren’t speculators at least partially responsible for the 20 year run of low oil prices?
In the late 70’s and 80’s, speculators put money into off-shore platforms, arctic drilling, long pipelines and exotic extraction technologies. These investments resulted in a large surplus of oil, often resulting in losses for the speculators (for example, George W. Bush).