London Guardian 
May 14, 2012
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been warned by its internal research team that there could be a permanent doubling of oil prices in the coming decade with profound implications for global trade.
“This is uncharted territory for the world economy, which has never experienced such prices for more than a few months,” the report warns.
The new IMF “working paper” come as the value of crude on world markets remains at the historically high level of $113 a barrel and just after the International Energy Agency reported that consumption would accelerate for the rest of this year in line with a wider economic recovery.
Undertaken amid mounting concerns about “peak oil”, the IMF study does not presume that there is a constraint on how much oil can be taken out of the ground. It prefers to believe that extraction rates will depend on the price that will be able to be charged for the final product.