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Oil At $80 Per Barrel?

By John S. McClenahen Stressing that his calculations are not a forecast, Philip K. Verleger Jr., a senior fellow at the Institute for International Economics, Washington, D.C., figures that crude oil prices could rise to "perhaps $60" a barrel by next summer and "as high as $80" per barrel in 2006. Such prices levels would depend on whether or not "shortage conditions" exist, situations which Verleger defines as times when the global demand for oil cannot be satisfied at then-current prices. "Circumstances [for an increase] are favorable, but that is all that can be said," he emphasizes.

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