I came across an article in the April 19th, 2008 edition of the Economist that presented an interesting perspective on the current price of oil compared to historic prices.
An analyst at Deutsche Bank estimated historic highs for crude prices based on a few factors and estimates that for the most part we still may not have reach historic highs yet.
Inflating historic prices based on America's producer price index results in a peak in the early 1980's of $94 per barrel.
Using the consumer price index to inflate prices resulted in a historic high of $118.
Using an estimate of the number of barrels that someone with an average annual income in the G7 would be able to purchase in 1981 compared to today the price would need to reach $134.
Using an estimate of the percentage of America's disposable income consumed by oil the price would need to reach $145 to equal the same level as 1980.
Using an estimate on the spending on oil as a share of global output the price would need to hit $150 to reach the 1980 equivalent.
Althought I find the estimates very interesting it still doesn't make me feel any better about $115 per barrel.