A while back there was a big to do about the House of Saud promising to boost production about now so as to lower oil prices during the US election. World demand is such that their boost wouldn't be enough to make a difference. However, Russia, Putin and YUKOS are embroiled in a big battle that has boosted prices to their highest level ever. I know that much of this has to do with the oligarchs and their disregard for Russian laws but I can't help wonder if the prolonged battle doesn't have other reasons/goals. Russia's largest source of foreign earnings is from Petroleum so any increase in price only fills the coffers of the state to overflowing. That is of course if companies like YUKOS pay their taxes... Couldn't this also be Putin disagreeing with Bush, knowing only too well that high oil prices will hurt him and perhaps even take some of the steam out of the American economy? Any other ideas or thoughts on the matter?