2011: Highest Oil Price In History

The annual average oil price of global benchmark Brent crude for 2011 is by far the highest ever at $111, even when adjusted for inflation. A new analysis from IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates finds that oil prices have never been higher, going all the way back to the birth of the oil age in 1860. The $111 average oil price is far higher than the previous high of about $99 in 2008 ($97 in 2011 dollars). The United States has been somewhat insulated from the rise by a glut of Canadian tar sands oil, but producers are working to build pipelines like Keystone XL to export the oil and raise prices.