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Countdown to $100 oil (55) - and the winner is...

by Jerome a Paris Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:14:18 PM EST

Here's a result that I can give even before the first primary in Iowa: the winner of the annual "Countdown to $100 oil" bottle of champagne for the best guess of the end-of-the-year price for oil.

And I almost won, this time, having bet, like the previous years, on $100 oil. The final price on 31 December is $95.98 for the month-forward price for WTI, the index used in each contest.

Meteor Blades won the contest in 2005 (see diary 20 below); wchurchill won in 2006 (see diary 38 below) and was kind enough to donate his bottle to Fran for her great work setting up the Salons, European Tribune's daily round-up of news and stories.

o, without further ado, the winners:

It seems that the majority of bets were too low (many in the $70-90 range), reflecting the fact that bets were taken in September, just before the spike that sent prices almost all the way to $100.

Of course, there is a large element of chance in being asked to bet a price on a specific date rather something more representative like an average over the year (or over a quarter): short term variations have been quite large (several dollars in the course of a day) lately.

But the trend signified by the change from last year's close is very real, and going in only one direction:

Crude oil for February delivery fell 2 cents to close at $95.98 a barrel at 3:03 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices rose 57 percent in 2007, the biggest annual percentage gain since 2002. New York futures reached a record $99.29 on Nov. 21 as a weaker dollar made crude cheaper in other currencies.


Crude prices in New York have gained 42 percent in euros this year, 48 percent in yen and 55 percent in British pounds.

It's worth noting that the dollar's weakness somewhat reduced the increase in oil prices in other currencies, but did not change the fact that oil prices increased massively for everybody: +42% in euros is still a lot. so this is not just about the dollar, this is about oil, and the increasing difficulty for supply to provide for a demand that continues to expand strongly.

So I expect the symbolic $100 line to be breached by the WTI forward in the near future. So, beyond opening soon another Countdown diary to take bets for the end-2008 price, I'll probably need to have a diary to select the most appropriate target to continue the series once the first goal is reached.

In the meantime, many cheers for the winners (who are invited to contact me by email to organize the logistcis of sending them the champagne), and many thanks to all that participated in the betting, and in commenting in the Countdown diaries.

:: ::

Earlier Countdown diaries.
Countdown to ?100 oil (54): OPEC ready to dump dollar?
Countdown to $100 oil (53) - Saudis happy with $100 oil
Countdown to $100 oil (52) - buying protection
Countdown to $100 oil (51) - we'll never see 100mbd
Countdown to $100 oil (50) - it's no longer 'oil', it's 'liquids'
Countdown to $100 oil (49) - peak oil and libertarians
Countdown to $100 oil (48) - 85, 86, 87, 88, ...
Countdown to $100 oil (47) - Malthus, Mein Kampf and ostriches
Countdown to $100 oil (46) - Malthus, Mein Kampf and ostriches
Countdown to $100 oil (46) - what's a dollar worth?
Countdown to $100 oil (45) - time to bet again (eurotrib)
Countdown to $100 oil (45) - time to bet again (DailyKos)
Countdown to $100 oil (44) - oil industry admits it cannot save us
Countdown to $100 oil (43) - IEA boss denies and confirms peak oil in same breath
Countdown to $100 oil (42) - IEA predicts shortages within 5 years
Countdown to $100 oil (41) - oil more expensive than it appears
Countdown to $100 oil (40) - Undulating plateau
Countdown to $100 oil (39) - BigOil running out of oil
Countdown to $100 oil (38) - Who gets Champagne edition
Countdown to $100 oil (37) - OPEC says peak oil (and $100 oil) is near
Countdown to $100 oil (36) - Free game! win champagne! no risk! (eurotrib)
Countdown to $100 oil (36) - Free game! win champagne! no risk! (DailyKos)
Countdown to $100 oil (35) - peak oil: the last skeptics capitulate (CERA)
Countdown to $100 oil (34) - Oil major CEO calls for demand reduction
Countdown to $100 oil (33) - Below zero
Countdown to $100 oil (32) - peak oil is, like, so over. Not!
Countdown to $100 oil (31) - $15 oil? The cornucopians are fighting back
Countdown to $100 oil (30) - senior politico fears looming oil wars
Countdown to $100 oil (29) - Alaska joins axis of evil (unreliable oil suppliers)
Countdown to $100 oil (28) - New records suggest more to come
Countdown to $100 oil (27) - 'Mission Accomplished' - High oil prices are here to stay
Countdown to $100 oil (26) - Time to bet again (eurotrib)
Countdown to $100 oil (26) - Time to bet again (dKos)
Countdown to $100 oil (25) - Iran vows that oil prices will not go down
Countdown to $100 oil (24) - What markets are telling us about future energy prices
Countdown to $100 oil (23) - Running out of natural gas in North America
Countdown to 100$ oil (22) - gas shortages in the UK - 240$/boe
Countdown to $100 oil (21A) - The 4 biggest oil fields in the world are in decline *
Countdown to 100$ oil (21bis) - long term vs short term worries (dKos)
Countdown to 100$ oil (21) - 8-page extravaganza in the Independent: 'we're doomed'
Countdown to 100$ oil (20) - Meteor Blades is Da Man in 2005
Countdown to 100$ oil (19) - Your bets for 2006 (Eurotrib)
Countdown to 100$ oil (19) - Your bets for 2006 (DailyKos)
Countdown to 100$ oil (18) - OPEC happy with oil above 50$
Countdown to 100$ oil (17) - Does it matter politically? A naked appeal for your support
Countdown to 100$ oil (16) - We'll know on Monday
Countdown to 100$ oil (15) - the impact on your electricity bill
Countdown to 100$ oil (14) - Greenspan acknoweldges peak oil
Countdown to 100$ oil (13) - Katrina strikes / refinery crisis
Countdown to 100$ oil (12) - Al-Qaeda, oil and Asian financial centers
Countdown to 100$ oil (11) - it's Greenspan's fault!
Countdown to 100$ oil (10) - Simmons says 300$ soon - and more
Countdown to 100$ oil (9) - I am taking bets (eurotrib)
Countdown to 100$ oil (9) - I am taking bets (dKos)
Countdown to 100$ oil (8) - just raw data
Countdown to 100$ oil (7) - a smart solution: the bike
Countdown to 100$ oil (6) - and the loser is ... Africa
Countdown to 100$ oil (5) - OPEC inexorably raises floor price
Countdown to 100$ oil (4) - WSJ wingnuts vs China
Countdown to 100$ oil (3) - industry is beginning to suffer
Countdown to 100$ oil (2) - the views of the elites on peak oil
Countdown to 100$ oil (1) (eurotrib)
Countdown to 100$ oil (1) (dKos)

* added to the series after the fact

Congratulations to the winners and commiserations to the near-misses. With a bet on $68 I must have been one of the furthest out. I recommend ignoring any predictions I make.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 06:21:46 AM EST
Since I placed my bet just below the (at the time) lowest bet, I am sure to be the furthest out unless there was an even lower bid or a way to high bid.

I am happy with my method though. Given my lack of knowledge in yearly price fluctuations and such, taking an outlier position was a reasonable strategy. If the price had missed the band of predictions I had a 50% chance of winning a bottle of champagne. I recommend keeping a keen eye of the interests of the predictor.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 10:28:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As footnote, oil seems indeed bent on passing the 100$ mark, on the first day of trading of the new year: 99.19, up 3.3% right now, still many hours of US-time trading to go.

by Pierre on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 12:33:18 PM EST
Wow, not bad for a total guess ...  And since it's now $100, I am really even more right somehow probably... ;)

Actually, I kinda never want to see champagne again, so I'm not heartbroken.

Did anyone guess $100?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 02:27:31 PM EST
Darn, I missed it by THIS much!  (;

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sat Jan 12th, 2008 at 05:05:12 PM EST

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