There’s a lot going on in world oil markets, as summarized in this Channel News Asia article. China is growing like gangbusters, shifting out demand for oil. Yukos, with a contract to supply them, is under fire from the Russian government (I am suspicious that it’s a case of expropriation on the part of the Russian government that the head of Yukos has been imprisoned and dogged for a year, but I don’t know for sure). Yukos has said it cannot fulfill its deliveries to China because its shipping costs have increased, which may or may not be a cover for other dynamics in their domestic government relationship. Hurricane Ivan damaged oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. And OPEC says that they will lift their quota, but they are producing so close to capacity anyway that such a claim can have no substantive effect on world prices.