"We think this year will be the first year in 15 years, since the first Gulf crisis that gasoline demand will actually decline in the United States," said Yergin, who is also a CNBC contributor. "It's the kind of thing that financial markets are not paying attention to right now. They're just looking for news that comfirms the upward movement."
OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri said Thursday the group can do nothing to lower oil prices, and called the oil market "crazy."
The United States has repeatedly called on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to boost its output to try to calm markets, but the group has said no increase is needed.
Just Wednesday, Brazil's state-run oil company struck oil in ultra-deep waters off the Atlantic coast, near the huge Tupi field it discovered last year, the company said.
The discovery lies in a deep-water area near Brazil's Tupi field, which Petrobras in November said could have recoverable reserves of up to 8 billion barrels of oil. But the news went virtually unnoticed in the U.S. as oil climbed higher.
And a recent report from Goldman Sachs predicted that oil could reach $150-$200 over the next 6-24 months on limited supply growth. The report also went on to dissect the general misconception of the role of the "big, bad speculator." Speculators — who have undeniably bid up commodity prices — are not the problem. They may actually be the solution, the report concluded.