The end of the confounding contango?

oil_well21.jpgThis post from a couple of weeks ago noted the rise of crude oil prices to over $70 per barrel, and this subsequent post examined the unusually long contango period that has existed in the oil trading markets during the current run-up in crude oil prices.
Well, crude oil prices have now fallen below $70 per barrel again. Thus, Clear Thinkers favorite James Hamilton is wondering whether oil prices have peaked for the time being. One interesting observation in the post is about the impact of $3 a gallon gasoline prices:

These data seem to suggest that the April gasoline price increases may have been sufficient to reverse the usual tendency for the U.S. public to use more gasoline each year than the previous year. Certainly that’s what we observed last fall when gas prices were around their current values, and I see no reason not to expect to see the same thing to be repeated now.

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