Production in the Gulf has yet to recover and the trouble in Nigeria shows no signs of easing. We are missing about 1 million barrels of output.
I thought the Middle Eastern part of President Bush's State of the Union speech was grossly exaggerated, given the percentage they supply. It's hard to pick out one part of the world as being more unstable than another part, especially if you're projecting 20, 25 years out.
The lack of spare capacity has made us vulnerable to any threat to supply over the last few years. It's important to keep in mind that the biggest single loss of oil output recently was in the Gulf of Mexico.
The impact on prices is really dependent on the track of the storm and how it affects production platforms and gathering lines in the Gulf. If the impacts are anything like Hurricane Ivan last year, then prices will clearly spike up.
Sometimes a political maneuver can overcome common sense.