A lot of folks are asking the question. Is the current run-up in price a result of supply & demand (fundamentals) or a bubble fueled (sorry about the pun) by speculation.
The general thrust of the fundamental story does seem right to me. Increasing wealth in BRIC nations leading to shifts in the demand for oil leading to higher prices.
However, would we see such a huge increase in oil prices given the slower and gradual increase in BRIC wealth? Perhaps so. Markets are not perfectly efficient and can sometimes rally to catch up to real world facts they should have taken into account months and even years ago.
However one of the smartest guys I know (my dad) thinks it is speculation and the price is about to fall dramatically. He is not an economist but he is not wrong about much of anything very often.