Nominal oil prices rise:
WSJ.com - Oil Price Reaches $71.35 a Barrel Over Concerns of a Nuclear Iran: By MASOOD FARIVAR April 19, 2006: Oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange topped $71 a barrel, the latest in a series of exchange records triggered by nervousness over Iran's nuclear program and falling gasoline supplies ahead of the summer.... The May crude contract on Nymex jumped as high as $71.60 before settling 95 cents higher at $71.35 a barrel, the highest level for a front-month contract since crude futures began trading on the Nymex in 1983. Crude futures for delivery beyond May were much higher, reflecting worries about a possible disruption later in the year....
The rally in oil prices has been driven by at least three fundamental forces: real production problems in major producing countries such as Nigeria and Norway; anxiety about the Iran nuclear row; and concern about shrinking supplies of gasoline ahead of the peak summer driving season. Gasoline inventories have fallen nearly 18 million barrels over the past six weeks as refiners have reduced operations to conduct seasonal maintenance.
Some market analysts blame the Iran nuclear dispute for adding as much as $10 a barrel to oil prices since the start of the year. Others, however, played down the likelihood of an Iran supply disruption this year and said speculators have used the Iran story as an excuse to bid up futures.
I wonder what Masood Farivar thinks he means by "speculators have used the Iran story as an excuse to bid up futures"? Speculators who are buying now want to pay more in order to diminish the chances they'll profit when they sell later on in the year? It's not something an economist can make sense of.