Global energy prices surge amid supply crunch

Crude oil prices jumped to a 7-year high of $80 a barrel in the U.S. Friday…

And oil prices are at multi-year highs in Europe as well.

China is so worried about higher energy costs that on Friday it ordered an increase in coal production.

From country to country, energy demand from a rebounding economy is outstripping supply - leading to a spike in energy bills… and there's growing fear a cold winter in the northern hemisphere could make the supply shortage even worse and drive prices even higher.

Adding further upward pricing pressure: OPEC and its allies aren't rushing to open the spigot. This week the group agreed to stick to a plan to only boost supplies by 400,000 barrels per day after a historic supply cut last year.

And it's not just oil prices on the move.

In Europe, natural gas prices are up more than 300% this year, sparking concerns about inflation and widespread economic angst.

Yelena Burmitrova is Export Director General for Russian energy giant Gazprom:

"Currently, the European spot market shows a high price volatility and is disorienting both buyers and sellers, (this) brings risks of destabilizing the entire regional economy."

But DataTrek Research co-founder Nick Colas doesn't see higher energy costs as anything more than a speed bump for the U.S. economy - unless prices go significantly higher.

"There is a historical precedent to say that oil prices go up in recoveries. It's happening again. We think oil prices go back to $95 to $100 in fairly short order, but we're not overly concerned because the history says that is not enough to derail a recovery. Now, if you're talking $120, $140 a barrel, that is a problem."

The White House, however, is concerned. The U.S. Department of energy said all "tools are always on the table" as it monitors tight supplies are rising energy costs.

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