WSJ reports [sub. needed] that speculators are heavily involved with energy futures. They are lured by the ever increasing prices for oil and natural gas driven by both supply issues and surging demand.
Analysts believe speculators are playing the role of marginal buyers, sending prices higher than they would otherwise be, but doing little to alter the basic upward trend driven by broader market pressure such as high demand. Jeff Curry, head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, estimates prices would be in the low $40s a barrel were it not for the these speculators.