BP’s CEO, John Browne, has warned that fear was driving the price of crude to artificially high levels, with “untold consequences” for the global economy. He argued that turbulence in Iran, Iraq and Nigeria was leading to continual speculation about oil shortages and there were “all sorts of things that suggest it is getting worse”.

“I was at Doha at the weekend” he continued. “Most (energy) people are not happy that the price of oil is so high because it is so unexpected and no one is quite clear what the impact will be.” The impact of higher oil prices is record profits for the oil majors, and even fatter bonues for the likes of John Browne.

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