Having said that, U.S. oil output approaches 11 million barrels per day, and crude oil production exceeds that of Saudi Arabia and could surpass the world's largest producer, Russia, sometime next year.
Despite that, the geopolitical risk premium in oil has driven crude prices to nearly four-year highs and shows no signs of abating. And so many interests benefit from higher oil prices; it appears there is a part of the world ready, and willing, to accept much more expensive energy.
This array of developments comes just as the summer driving season begins in the U.S., meaning that consumers should expect higher prices at the pump, certainly in excess of $3 per gallon, on average, and possibly much higher.
The U.S. exit from the Iranian nuclear deal, the unprecedented exchange of rocket attacks between Iranian and Israeli forces and the general belief among the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel that Iran's regional expansion needs to be stopped all argue for a continued rise in the price of crude.
The Trump Administration's plan to re-impose sanctions on Iran, and apply additional pressure on the Iranian regime, has heightened the fear that Iran will sponsor more terror attacks against Western targets, while its surrogates in both Syria and Lebanon (Hezbollah), will work to further destabilize the region, leading to an outright military confrontation between the sides.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Washington, Jerusalem and Riyadh are united in their desire to thwart any further territorial, or nuclear, ambitions Tehran may, or may not, harbor.
Certainly, Iran was said by U.S. intelligence and by U.S. allies, to be in compliance with the nuclear accord, but the U.S. walked away anyway.
Indeed, there is growing speculation among foreign policy experts that this administration wants...