Jim Rogers: Oil 'Will Probably' Soar to Record $200 a Barrel

Friday, 21 Jan 2011 09:59 AM

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Oil prices could hit a record $200 a barrel on rising demand and dwindling supplies, says investor guru Jim Rogers, who predicted the start of the global commodities rally in 1999.

"Known reserves of oil are declining. It is not good news. Unless somebody discovers a lot of oil very quickly, prices are going to go much higher over the next decade," Rogers tells the BBC.

"The price of oil is going to make new highs. It will go over $150 a barrel. It will probably go over $200 a barrel."

Benchmark oil for March delivery lost $2.22 to settle at $89.59 a barrel Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Thursday in London, Brent crude declined $1.58 to settle at $96.58 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange. Oil hit a record peak of $145 in July 2008.

While the world demands more and more oil, the problem lies in either discovering more or drilling in places where fresh fields may be waiting.

Discoveries off Brazil are promising but won't meet global demand while oil in the Arctic will be very hard to extract, Rogers says.

"Maybe there is a lot of oil in the world, but if there is, we don't know where it is or how to get to it," he says.

Rogers isn’t the only one to warn of surging oil prices.

Joe Petrowski, chief executive of Gulf Oil and the Cumberland Gulf Group, recently told CNBC that crude oil’s price could soar to nearly $150 a barrel by summer.

"If we’re not producing it domestically, because we’re trying to achieve administratively what we don’t seem to want to pass legislatively, and our imports are going down and demand’s up, it sets the stages," he told CNBC.

“I think we'll be at $100 in the first quarter," he added, "and there’s one-in-four chance we’ll take out the $147 highs before Memorial Day.”

Economist Marc Faber has said energy-sector commodities like natural gas and oil are going to rise in price, and will sweeten as investment opportunities even further as the global economy improves.

Emerging-market countries like China and India will continue to demand more commodities to feed their growing economies.

Should the world slip into another slew of recessions, geo-political tensions would arise resulting in oil-supply cuts, says Faber, publisher of The Gloom, Boom and Doom report.

Either way, prices rise.

"The demand for oil will go up and drive up prices," says Faber, according to CNBC.

Should prices reach $100, analysts say, it will be a lot tougher on consumers than when prices reached similar levels in 2008 and gasoline prices broke $4 a gallon.

"The economy wasn't what it is today. People didn't have as much trouble filling their huge SUV trucks," Daniel O'Connell, vice president of energy products at the brokerage firm MF Global, tells ABC News.

"If you see crude spike over $100, it will be very destructive for any recovery that we may be having."

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