Crude oil is produced by a number of countries around the world. They have formed an organisation called OPEC: Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. From the website: "OPEC's mission is to coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of Member Countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital to those investing in the petroleum industry."
Oil is the blood of our economy. Raise its prices too high, as we saw recently in 2008 and 2011, and the economy will absolutely stumble. This is to be avoided at all cost. Though at the same time it encourages us to search for other relatively cheap fuel sources in addition to crude oil, as our way of living can not do without cheap energy. New technologies must be developed to consume these products wisely and with minimal harm to our environment.
Below a view of the latest price developments at OPEC.
Opec has published a document, World Oil Outlook 2008, about oil until 2030. Which is a very good read for those of you interested. Beware it is some 234 pages and 6 Mb download.