Oil price is easy to find hard to trust

To start this investigation, it is prudent to look at the oil price over time. Yet the initial results from sources do not disclose how the data contained in their interactive graphs was reached. Concerns are then raised about how this data was reached and especially for previous data if the data has been adjusted for inflation.

The longer a price has been in the market the more you have to be careful that the numerical number adapts to other changes. A direct number can be useless for direct comparison in numerous ways, the most prominent being the impacts of inflation. However other impacts can influence the narrative that is presented.

Value itself requires clarification. Coal can be quite valuable in the 1980’s but it is as valuable as it was in Victorian England. A price based analysis adjusted for inflation will give one answer yet looking at the society it is quite possible that a place where the price was lower had more need for it. Economics has limitations especially when exposed to very different societies. For oil a large clear change is the sudden appearances of piratical new technologies.


In a real sense, it is an opinion if the modern aeroplane industry is more useful to society that some of the steam train lines. For different locations and different people the answer would change. For oil is the modern usage in cars better then the usage in lamps. Perhaps this is now incredibly difficult due to the affects that globalisation and the long strings of transactions across locations that are common.

An example of this is how in parts of Australia the road safety and quality is more important then it ever has. This is due to the number of tourists heading to sites that now have captured global holidaymaker attention. Was the road worth less before when it was just for the locals?

If you just looked at raw expenditure then it would be.

Currency itself has went through quite a lot of changes since oil reached markets. The United States moved from a currency backed on Gold to a fiat one and this move was followed by all other powers. In the late 20th century numbers could be impacted by a Communist state influencing prices in the global market along with global demand.

Another element to consider is the impact of colonial powers on the demand for oil. Now that Africa is politically free from Western nations the demands of the continent are now free to be shaped by its people and local people in power. Reduction of the use can also be seen in Europe with other technologies impacting its usage in Oil rich Norway. Does the new technologies moving into the markets impact get hidden by the amount of new groups now allowed to consume oil at a higher rate.

While it may be easy to answer the question of oil price in the terms of the past 20 years the longer we go back the more variables need to be thought about.

This article is a test article for formatting purposes and may change tone and how it is written. Despite this the information contained is not fictional.

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