The head of OPEC says that the oil supply is plenty good. It is refining that is the problem. That would put the reason for higher oil prices squarely on the shoulders of the multi-national oil companies.
Even if OPEC’s claim is true, in fact, the cartel knows that the reality of oils prices is strongly related to perception. Is there peace in the Middle East? Are governments in Venezuela and Nigeria stable? Is the rate of consumption in China still racing higher every quarter? Will storms in the Gulf interrupt production.
By moving the responsibility for oil prices to public companies, most of which are based in the US, OPEC is saying it will not make a gesture, even a symbolic one, to bring prices down.
Absent any other news, that means oil prices will continue to rise.