Drilling for oil in the Arctic Soaring oil prices and falling reserves is sparking a frenzy of oil and gas activity from Alaska to the North Pole. (more)
Where are they now?The Enron-era crackdown on fraud sent a parade of top executives to prison. Find out where they are now. (more)
Best new business hotels Does your business travel routine need an upgrade? Here are the top new spots in dealmaking hubs. (more)
2 of 6
The producers
The producers
Venezuela president Hugo Chavez and other foreign producers are blamed for spiking oil prices.

The theory: Foreign oil producers are pouring money into the futures markets to boost prices for their lucrative export business. Charles Biderman, CEO of TrimTabs Investment Research in Sausalito, Calif., speculated in a recent note to clients that big oil producing nations such as Iran, Venezuela and Russia could be pushing oil prices higher by making outsize bets in the crude futures markets. He points to the low margin requirements on commodities futures contracts - an investor can borrow as much as 93% of the contract price - and says a producer that makes more than $10 billion a month selling oil could easily drive crude prices higher simply by plowing $200 million into futures contracts.

Reality check: Despite the obvious political conflicts, many market players doubt the big oil producers would be so brazen. "I'd be very surprised to see them doing that in this atmosphere," says Stephen Schork, a former Nymex floor trader who edits the Schork Report energy and trading newsletter in Villanova, Pa.

NEXT: Supply and demand
Last updated June 05 2008: 10:42 AM ET

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.