Reuters reported that oil raised to a record high on Wednesday. This has many fearing a supply crunch during the winter. The article cited as the main reason for the price jump as being due to the up coming elections in the United States and instability in Iraq, as well as storms in the Gulf of Mexico, during hurricane Ivan and the other storms there were nearly 453,000 barrels per day that were being kept from arriving on American shores. With OPEC pumping nearly at capacity this gives little leeway for another long lasting disruption in supply.
Supply had been disrupted by natural disasters. The Hurricane season of 2004 caused supply to drop by half the daily number of barrels pumped by Indonesia (the smallest OPEC member nation). The main reason for the extra high prices was the drop in supply, although the instability in the region obviously attributes for the already high oil prices prior to the major hurricane season. Instability in the Mideast is a major concern that is something that has been a cause for rising oil prices since the 70's. The fact that the U elections are a major factor in the rising oil prices may cite that a changing of commander of chief may be beneficial to relations with OPEC nations and help lower ultra-high oil prices.
The article was found at http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=580&e=3&u=/nm/20041006/bs_nm/markets_oil_dc