The following is from the Sept. 13, 2007, edition of The Chicago Tribune. Bruce Bullock, director of SMU's Maguire Energy Institute, was a source for this story.

Oil touches $80 milestone

By Robert Manor
Tribune staff reporter Tribune news services contributed to this report

The price of oil briefly passed $80 a barrel for the first time, pushed up Wednesday by reports of low inventories in the U.S., weather concerns and possibly by speculators, industry experts said.

The benchmark price of crude oil rose to $80.18 but later pulled back to settle at $79.91, up $1.68, in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The federal Energy Information Administration reported that petroleum on hand fell by 7.1 million barrels, more than had been expected.

While many analysts attributed the price jump to low inventories in the U.S., others said that factors ranging from the world's largely vibrant economy to the hurricane season are affecting prices. . .

But some industry observers say that while prices will fluctuate daily, the long-term price has only one direction.

"In the last few years we have seen peaks and valleys, but generally it's on the way up," said Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University.

"The market believes that growth in demand is going to continue to outpace growth in supply," Bullock said.

Read the full story.

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