According to Reuters, a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that for the rest of the year there will be 50,000 less barrels per day consumed than at present. More drastic still is that the usage over 2009 will fall by 450,000 barrels. This makes the productive economies look awful.

But there's a good side to this dreary forecast: at $43 per barrel, which is the price today, Iran, Venezuela, Russia and other petrostates, including some Arab ones, will not be able to fuel (forgive the pun) their aggressive foreign policies.

Analysts in London believe that grim projections by the E.I.A. of economic growth are actually too optimistic. Hence: petroleum will fall even deeper, whatever OPEC tries to do in response.