No one at this point needs another column on the crisis in the Ukraine, the natural gas influence of Russian pipelines on Eastern Europe or speculation on the outcome of Russian military occupation and possible annexation of the Crimean peninsula. But I do want to point out what these unexpected events have done to the price of a barrel of oil -- it has sent it higher again.
The reason I make this obvious statement is precisely because the events in Ukraine were so unexpected. What it tells us -- again -- is that oil price risk remains consistently to the upside, and not only from geopolitical supply issues we think we know about, but particularly from those we have failed to consider.
I write week after week about the known supply and demand profile for the global oil market, try to assess the cost trajectory of getting the stuff out of the ground and figuring out where and how fast global growth for oil is coming from. And with all that, and with the certainly long-term bullish trend I see from all of that fundamental analysis, I just cannot ever predict the hundreds of other events, all of which can spike prices higher -- but seem to happen all the time.
This is why, when I look at the long-term prospects of the various sectors of the stock market, I like the energy sector so much. Even with the explosive growth of new oil shale resources that are only now getting fully exploited by the United States but will spread…