As gasoline prices head back up, "from $1.82 (a gallon) on May 1 to $2.28 on May 31" at his corner station, records our South Jersey volunteer energy correspondent, Buzz Griffin of Haddon Township, speculators are bidding the price of petroleum still higher.

"JPMorgan Chase & Co., the second- largest U.S. bank by deposits, hired a newly built supertanker to store heating oil off Malta, shipbrokers reported... The bank hired the Front Queen for nine months, according to daily reports from Oslo-based SeaLeague A/S and Athens-based Optima Shipbrokers Ltd." JPMorgan wouldn't comment on its plans for the 2 million-barrel ship, reports Bloomberg here.

"Citigroup Inc.'s Phibro LLC unit and BP Plc (have also hired) ships to store crude or oil products at sea. The firms are seeking to take advantage of higher prices later in the year." The companies are using newly-built supertankers that are available for around $40,000 a day, almost 90 percent below last summer's prices, because of a global glut of shipping.

All this, despite falling demand for oil and growing stockpiles of unused petroleum. The speculators are betting the economy will recover faster than energy production, boosting their profits.