So why wouldn't oil prices rocket? - Alan Kohler - www.smh.com.au
The last "super giant" oilfield (more than 10 billion barrels) was discovered 40 years ago; the last American refinery was built 25 years ago; each successive American "driving season" guzzles more gas than the last.
The average oil discovery these days is small - 50 million barrels - and the average net present value of each reservoir is below the cost of exploration. Drilling for oil has not paid off for a long time.
Meanwhile, in America, rapacious consolidation and a clamp on new capacity has led to a shortage of gasoline, separate to the demand/supply picture for oil.