Light sweet crude is back up over $60/bbl. It's widely known that the Iran situation is introducing a "war disruption" premium into the price. Perhaps less well known is a guerilla warfare campaign within the borders of another important producer, Nigeria. From the New York Times via the Australian Financial Review: Tensions in the oil-rich Niger Delta, which have sent world oil prices up sharply, have flared since Saturday after militants kidnapped nine foreign oil workers, set pipelines on fire and disrupted a major export terminal in the latest series of clashes between local ethnic groups and the Nigerian central government. As a result of the attacks, Nigeria's oil production has been cut by 455,000 barrels a day out of a total of about 2.5 million barrels, according to Royal Dutch Shell, the main foreign producer in Nigeria. A major oilfield was shut down as a precaution, Shell said. ... Nigeria is the fifth-largest oil exporter to the United States, after Mexico, Venezuela, Canada and Saudi Arabia. Nearly half of Nigeria's oil exports go to the US. "Militants slow Nigeria's oil output" by Jad Mouawad. 22 February 2006 http://afr.com/articles/2006/02/21/1140284060855.html These developments coincide with heightening tensions between the US government and another important supplier to the US market, Venezuela. I consider it possible that a great shock, consisting of a significant shortfall in crude oil availability, will hit the US economy soon.