Originally Posted by Atticus
Some of this recent increase is due to the weak dollar...
That's certainly part of it. Back in 2000 the Euro traded at an all time low of $0.83. This year a Euro has gotten to around $1.58, so the value of the US $ has dropped by nearly 50% in just the last 8 years. If an oil exporting nation wants to make as much money (in real terms) as they used to they will be charging more simply to make up for the fact that they are being paid in dollars that are worth far less than they used to be. Much of this decline in the dollar is a result of massive borrowing from other nations to finance King George's misadventure in Iraq.