How does one explain such an explosion of oil prices?
First of all it is necessary to differentiate between the short and the long term. Some analysts argue that if prices soar, it is because there is more oil.
Now if they just soar today, it is because a hurricane devastated the Gulf of Mexico. In the short term, the oil price spike is due to a combination of factors: growth in global demand, inventory reduction, underinvestment. In the medium term, ie four or five years, the uncertainty lies in the response of supply and demand at higher prices than we see today. It's long term we can only consider a resource problem. In the short term, the problem is only two-three, we face a continuous increase in demand, while supply has not increased at a rate equivalent. The result is an erosion of the available production capacity of OPEC countries: overcapacity rose from 5% of world consumption in 1990 2% now. We can also highlight tensions at the refinery. At the slightest incident, there is a product available to issue. The tense international climate brings a pressure on prices. As to how far this can go up, I believe that the figures announced by some $ 300 -up - are completely wacky. What is clear is that the market reacts very quickly. Hurricane Katrina weighs on the market today as two weeks ago the announcement of possible attacks in Saudi Arabia. And a slowdown in demand would weigh in the opposite direction to prices.
What solutions exist to tackle this price explosion?
Anything that can lead to energy savings will of course in the right direction. All resolutions in recent years have been forgotten and it would reduce waste. We forget that for example the use of air conditioning in cars results in an increase in fuel consumption. Concerning a possible reintroduction of the TIPP floating, I think this is not the right solution if we want to reduce oil dependency of France. If the price increase creates social problems, they must be treated, but in other ways.
This increase in oil prices does not raise the debate on renewable energy?
Oil is consumed mainly in transport. 95% of the energy consumption of the transportation sector comes from the oil and there is no significant alternative to date. One can certainly use biofuels or electricity, but it is reduced.