Oil Price Over Time in Real Terms

We have been hearing about record oil prices. We all know how the press tends to ignore the nominal to real distinction so I decided to check out the excellent graphs from WRTG Economics. Their graph of real oil prices from 1947 to 2004 express oil prices in term of 2004$. For a brief period during the early 1980’s, oil prices exceeded $60 in terms of 2004$. They also show nominal prices from April 1, 2005 to April 21, 2006 reporting a price equal to $73.60 per barrel. With general prices about 5% higher than they were in 2004, we are talking about $70 per barrel in terms of 2004$. One has to go back to 1869 to see real oil prices that high.