Have you ever stopped to wonder why the gas prices keep on going up? Did you think it was because of successive regional conflicts and political instability in the vicinity of and within the proximity of the oil producing countries? But ahh, sometimes prices shoot up even before a conflict starts!…sometimes even on mere rumours!
Oil speculators and traders, like shrewd market vendors, would jump the gun on everybody else and drive the prices up through a flurry of frenzied buying to stockpile reserves and make a killing when the speculated conflict or rumoured crisis actually arises; and crude oil prices finally shoots up.
The oil producers know this. The oil producers also know how totally dependent the whole world has become on their precious produce. They control production and can drive the prices up or down according to their whims and caprices. With trillions of dollars in oil revenue, they can even bankroll a conflict, finance terrorist activities, or create any form of regional instability because the end result will redound to their benefits.