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Daily Telegraph: A ‘tsunami’ of petrodollars to be unleashed

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Morgan Stanley estimates there are trillions of petrodollars left in the pipeline

By Richard Blackden
Last Updated: 7:31am GMT 26/02/2008

The surge in the price of oil is set to unleash a tsunami of petrodollars onto financial markets, according to Morgan Stanley.

With the price of crude oil skirting the $100-a-barrel mark, strategists at the investment bank reckon as much as $2 trillion of petrodollars earned by the world’s oil exporters will need to be invested this year.

Many analysts expect oil, which first touched the historic $100 a mark in January and then closed above the level for the first time this month, to remain at lofty levels this year as a combination of higher demand from fast-growing economies such as China and dwindling supply leaves refineries struggling to produce sufficient oil.

Petrodollars are “big, and getting bigger,” according to Morgan Stanley’s Stephen Jen.

While Mr Jen estimates that oil exporters, particularly the Gulf states, will choose to spend about 10pc of the petrodollars upgrading their infrastructure, “a tsunami is coming.”

Opec has faced calls from the US government as well as the International Energy Agency to ease the upward pressure on prices by lifting production – a move rejected when the cartel met in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia last November.

advertisementAt $100 a barrel, Morgan Stanley estimates that the value of the world’s proven oil reserves stands at $121 trillion.

That compares with Russia’s gross domestic product of $1.2 trillion, Britain at $2.7 trillion and the US at $14 trillion.

Mr Jen writes “The financial arguments for transforming underground oil wealth into above-ground financial wealth are quite compelling.”

Crude oil was little changed at $98 in late trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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