What Drives Crude Oil Prices?
US Energy Information Administration prepared a superb overview of the influence factors on the Crude Oil prices. Easy to read and understand.
Beside the four traditional factors on the supply and demand side, the prices are increasingly dependent also on the other three "new" factors: balances, financial markets and spot prices.
Specially first two have increasing influence on the prices - on the increasing prices. With the low oil prices we were witnessing oil-full ships waiting outside ports and bays waiting for the prices to raise. Artificially shortening supply, waiting for higher price [Reuters]. Secondly, with the crash of the financial markets, increased risk and lowered margins more and more financial speculators are moving to commodity, to oil markets (see picture 3).
The complete explanation is available here. An hour well spent for anyone interested in energy market.