Back in calmer times, in January or February of this year, there was a lot of talk about how global economic growth—both in the U.S. and other developed countries—and in the fast-paced developing world, notably China and India, would bump up against available oil supply, leading to a rising price for crude.

With oil at that time selling around $80 per barrel, analysts were talking about prices rising to over the $100 level, with outliers mentioning $115 or $120 per barrel, making oil look like a good investment bet.

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