I'm not sure I follow your mouse trap reference. Demand is always in the equation. (It is more difficult to see/explain they way it works when dealing with something like oil, as opposed to "widgets"). If someone did say "whoops out of oil" and go against the overwhelming demand for oil, the price would most definitely go up, to a point where the demand is so high that the people holding the oil could no longer justify holding the oil at that price. Then they inject said oil into the market at the high price and the prices would fall. If someone wants to hold oil from the market, that is their prerogative. They are taking a risk doing so. EDIT* If there are no comparable replacements for oil (and there are none at this point in time at the same cost level) the price of oil could easily increase until a replacement source of energy (electric, solar, etc..) is an economically viable alternative. Money (cost) drives everything.