Underlying Contracts

You can trade oil futures on nymex. CL is the standard size, QM is the smaller size.

Brokers include IG Markets. It is under US Light Crude, and it follows the CL contract. They offer the next 1-2 month futures only. There is an additional 3 pt spread either way.

Interactive Brokers offer the true contracts. Tickers are CL and QM. Futures are for each month. Options are also available.

Cited Factors for Price Movement

Bullish Oil

Israel and Iran tension

2008-07-01: Israel may attack Iran if it acquires enough enriched uranium to build a weapon.

OPEC Space Capacity

2008-07-01: Spare OPEC capacity may shrink by 2013.

Medium-Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR) 2008 costs 400 EUR

The report spare capacity will be 2.5M barrels a day in 2008, over 4M in 2010, and only 1M in 2013.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is another source of oil.

2008-07-01: It is not willing to sell crude at a discount. hmm but why should it? is it because it has inferior quality oil?

US Oil Inventories

2008-07-01: Inventories are declining. (which means less suppy).

Iran pwning the Strait of Hormuz

40% of oil from Middle East is shipped through here. If there is a conflict Iran could block this channel and disrupt supply.

Bearish Oil

Demand Reduction

2008-07-01: IEA cut 3M per day from its global demand forecast.

Research Items

There is a weekly inventory report. I'm trying to find out where/when this is. A report did come out on 2008-04-30T16:30. probably at http://www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/weekly_petroleum_status_report/wpsr.html every Wednesday.