Gail at The Oil Drum ponders the price of oil, and what it will foretell this year:
The one possibility that would seem to postpone such a price run-up is if world economies in the very near term start heading into major recession. Such a recession might indicate that even the current oil price is too high for economies to handle, in their weakened state.
I believe the limit on how much oil will be supplied is not the amount of oil in the ground; rather the limit is how high a price economies can afford. This in turn is tied to the true value of the oil to society–whether oil can really be used to produce goods and services to justify its price. The problems we experienced in 2008, and may experience in the not-to-distant future, suggest that we may be reaching this limit.