When most people think of high oil prices, they think of the spike in 2008 where West Texas Intermediate (WTI) went to $145/barrel before retreating. But most forget just how fast the retreat was, by September 2008 WTI was in a price rout. Luckily, the EIA is still at work until at least October 11, so we can check on the historical prices for Sept 2008.
That month showed WTI all over the map, as low as $91 on Sept 16, and as high as $122 on a one day spike just a week later on Sept 22. Averaged, the volatility led to a Sept 2008 WTI price of $104.
WTI was much lower in the next four Septembers, but grew each year: 2009 ($69), 2010 ($75), 2011 ($85.5), 2012 ($94.5). That growth continued in Sept 2013 with an average price of $106. The highest price for a September, ever.
Look for the trend to continue in October if WTI stays anywhere north of $95 for an extended period. This is the new normal, and the new normal is expensive.