2009 crystal ball, or Lies, damned lies and price forecasts! ///

Oil and natural gas price volatility in 2008 was nothing short of stunning. Given the huge range of prices experienced this year, when you hear someone predicting oil and gas prices for the coming 12 months, immediately grab your wallet and run for the door. Relax, your wallet is safe (at least until April 15) as I am not going to prognosticate on price; instead I will discuss the key factors driving oil and gas prices in 2009. The coming year will start with more uncertainty than usual as global economic angst clouds the ability to forecast crude oil and gas demand. In addition, the US domestic E&P industry is a victim of its success as natural production growth is an issue for the first time in a decade. Given this uncertainty, here are the factors we think will dictate the direction of price movements in 2009.

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