March 16, 2006
|Malaysian Leader: Era Of Cheap Oil Is Over||Peak Oil|
A Malaysian reader of Past Peak emailed from Singapore to point out the following article. It's a small world and getting smaller. AP:
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak has urged Malaysians to brace for further hikes in fuel prices, warning that the era of cheap oil was over. Malaysia, a net oil importer, heavily subsidizes fuel prices but the growing subsidy bill has taken a toll on state budget.
The government on Feb. 28 sharply raised retail prices of gasoline, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas by as much as 23 percent. Despite the hike, Malaysia's fuel prices remain among the lowest in Southeast Asia.
Najib, who heads the Cabinet committee on fuel, warned late Wednesday that global oil prices — currently hovering at $63 a barrel — could surge to $100 a barrel due to tight supply and strong demand, especially from rising economic giants China and India.
The possibility of U.N. sanctions against Iran, the No. 2 producer within OPEC, for its nuclear ambitions, will worsen the situation, he said, adding that some analysts had predicted oil prices to soar as high as $200 a barrel and this was not far-fetched.
"The cheap oil price era has ended. This is the reality that Malaysians and the world as a whole must accept. We can no longer hide from the fact that the price of oil [will] continue to rise," Najib was quoted as saying by the national Bernama news agency. [Emphasis added]
With the single exception of Roscoe Bartlett in the House, US politicians have been afraid to speak this frankly about what we're facing. It's pathetic.