The world depends, as everyone knows, for its energy needs mostly on crude oil. Crude oil found in the earth's belly takes a long time to form; millions of years. The energy problem came to the fore recently not because the reserves down there are depleted, not at all, in fact we are pumping out a lot more than before. It's the demand for energy that has increased several folds. The reason why the west has seen such low prices for crude these past decades has been more or less due to the puppet regimes and allies in power in the Middle East. The more the demand increased, the more they glutted the market with crude. In these last couple of years Saudi Arabia reached its maximum capacity in terms of Crude Oil production. As demand increased they were unable to match it with supply. They are planning to increase production capacity further. But this will take time. Bush recently visited South America to try and find an alternative to America in the form of ethanol. Though prices have sort of stabilized, it is an obvious guess that things are going to get far dearer.