Saturday, January 03, 2015

Peak Oil is Still Real

Whither Peak Oil?

It's still a reality despite low prices! Consider the following chart of world production not including the United States:





While world oil production has bounced around in a narrow 2 million bpd band since 2010, US production has increased 3.5 million bpd in the same time frame:





The Saudis are changing strategies from keeping prices high to trying to regain market control. They've gone loose with the tap, and that pushes market sentiment in a bearish direction for oil. What it does not say is that oil is abundant, or that cheap oil is back to stay. In fact, without the strength of US production, we'd be going from $5-6 gas to $4 gas, instead of $4 to $2. But again, current oil price is indicative of market sentiment not long-term (or even medium-term) supply strength.

The main evidence for my assertion lies in the fact that even with "increased" production, world production outside of the US is not breaking out of its band of 68-70mbpd. The production trend is not changing.

The fact remains that a short-lived US shale oil boom that will not live past the end of this decade is what is keeping world supply increasing, and we will still face an oil shock when it is over. It will just be more shocking. The lower prices are a boon to economy but a disincentive to prepare for what is coming in our near future.

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