An article which discusses the difference between the current rise in oil prices and many which have preceded it. It then goes on to say oil's rise is a good sign even.
In each of the five biggest previous oil shocks, there was a dramatic geopolitical event that cut oil flows amounting to nearly 10% of total world oil production. For example, when Iraq invaded Kuwait in August of 1990, oil shipments out of the countries, which between them had previously been producing 5.3 million barrels a day, completely ceased. The price of West Texas intermediate crude went from $18 in July 1990 to $36 in October, doubling in the space of three months.
Many previous shocks occured over a similarly small space of time, and were caused by sudden decreases in production. Yet the current price rise has been quite different. Production hasn't decreased, but rather demand has increased and caused prices to rise over the course of a year and a half.
By contrast, global oil production has increased steadily during the current episode. The run-up has been caused this time not by a shortage of supply but rather by booming world demand... The strong world economic growth that produced this demand overall must be regarded as good economic news, not bad. And although we have again seen West Texas intermediate nearly double from $28 in September 2003 to $54 today, this time the increase required a year and a half rather than just three months.
The rest can be read in the article here. It also has this interesting chart regarding past production drop-off's in pre-recessionary oil shocks: