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There Is Hope In Understanding That A Great Economic Collapse Is Coming thumbnail

There Is Hope In Understanding That A Great Economic Collapse Is Coming

If you were about to take a final exam, would you have more hope or more fear if you didn’t understand any of the questions and you had not prepared for the test at all?  I think that virtually all of us have had dreams where we show up for an exam that we have not studied for.  Those dreams can be pretty terrifying.  And of course if you were ever in such a situation in real life, you probably did very, very poorly on that test.  The reason I have brought up this hypothetical is to make a point.  My point is that there is hope in understanding what is ahead of us, and there is hope in getting prepared.  Since I started The Economic Collapse Blog back in 2009, there have always been a few people that have accused me ...

The “Unequivocally ‘Not’ Good” Reality Of Lower Oil Prices & Jobs thumbnail

The “Unequivocally ‘Not’ Good” Reality Of Lower Oil Prices & Jobs

The drop in oil prices is certain to cause some incremental unemployment in the U.S. energy industry; the question is simply how much and what that means for the American economy as a whole.  To begin the search for answer, you have to go to the wellhead and consider how many individuals work in American oilfields, as well as those workers that directly support those activities.  The answer here, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 812,000 as of March 2014 (the most current data available).   That may not sound like a lot, but at average annual wages of $99,854/worker, this small group receives $81 billion in estimated annual compensation. How bad can things get if oil prices stay low?   We actually have a recent case study in the 2008 experience, the last great crash in oil prices.  The answer is a 20% ...

The Conventional Wisdom On Oil Is Always Wrong thumbnail

The Conventional Wisdom On Oil Is Always Wrong

In 2008, I moved to Dallas to cover the oil industry for The Wall Street Journal. Like any reporter on a new beat, I spent months talking to as many experts as I could. They didn’t agree on much. Would oil prices — then over $100 a barrel for the first time — keep rising? Would post-Saddam Iraq ever return to the ranks of the world’s great oil producers? Would China overtake the U.S. as the world’s top consumer? A dozen experts gave me a dozen different answers. But there was one thing pretty much everyone agreed on: U.S. oil production was in permanent, terminal decline. U.S. oil fields pumped 5 million barrels of crude a day in 2008, half as much as in 1970 and the lowest rate since the 1940s. Experts disagreed about how far and how fast production ...

Oil Price Scenarios For 2015 And 2016 thumbnail

Oil Price Scenarios For 2015 And 2016

A couple of weeks ago I had a post titled The 2014 Oil Price Crash Explained that was cross posted to over 20 other blogs including The Automatic Earth and Zero Hedge. In this post I use the empirical supply and demand dynamic described in that earlier post (Figure 1) to try and constrain the oil price a year from now and in 2016. The outcome is heavily dependent upon assumptions made about supply and demand and the behaviour of OPEC and the banking sector. Three different scenarios are presented with December 2015 prices ranging from $45 to $100 / bbl. Those hoping for a silver bullet forecast will be disappointed. Individuals must judge the scenarios on merit and decide for themselves which outcome, if any, is most likely. Figure 1 The blue supply line is constrained by monthly production – price data from ...

Where Are Oil Prices Headed In The Long Run? thumbnail

Where Are Oil Prices Headed In The Long Run?

Global benchmark crude oil prices have declined sharply this year on slower demand growth and rising supplies. The growth in demand for crude oil has slowed down significantly this year due to moderating economic growth in emerging markets, such as China and India, and a slower than anticipated economic recovery in the Euro-zone. In China, the rate of growth in demand for petroleum products has fallen to almost half of what it was a year ago. As a result, the International Energy Agency expects the growth in global oil demand this year to hit a 5-year low. It expects demand, which stood at around 91.7 million barrels per day last year, to increase by just around 0.7 million barrels per day this year. For next year, the agency expects demand growth to be a bit higher, around 0.9 million barrels ...

General Ideas

John Michael Greer: Déjà Vu All Over Again

Over the last few weeks, a number of regular readers of  The Archdruid Report have asked me what I think about the recent plunge in the price of oil and the apparent end of the fracking bubble. That interest seems to be fairly widespread, and has attracted many of the usual narratives; the  blogosphere is full of claims that the Saudis crashed the price of oil to break the US fracking industry, or that Obama got the Saudis to crash the price of oil to punish the Russians, or what have you. I suspect, for my part, that what’s going on is considerably more important. To start with, oil isn’t the only thing that’s in steep decline. Many other major commodities—coal, iron ore, and copper among them—have registered comparable declines over the course of the last few months. I have no ...


Will Population Growth End in This Century?

The human population nearly tripled from 2.5 billion people in 1950 to 7.3 billion today and will continue growing through 2070, according to two recent demographic projections. After that, demographers disagree on whether populations will begin to shrink or continue to rise into the next century, write Worldwatch Institute Senior Fellow Robert Engelman and Research Assistant Yeneneh Terefe in the Institute's latest Vital Signs Online article (www.worldwatch.org). Two population projections----one from the United Nations Population Division, the other from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)---- agree on how population has grown until now. But their future scenarios document a breakdown in consensus. U.N. demographers rely on a methodology that applies past behavior and expert opinion about the future to assign quantified probabilities to various population outcomes. Defying a widespread media and public perception that a stationary world population of 9 ...

No Easy Answers When Disposing of Oil and Gas Wastewater thumbnail

No Easy Answers When Disposing of Oil and Gas Wastewater

We all want easy answers. And often times the harder the question, the easier we want the answer to be. Increased natural gas use, for example, can help decrease U.S. greenhouse gas emissions as it has a lower carbon content compared to coal or oil. Natural gas also can help transition our energy mix to more renewable energy sources. This is because properly designed, gas-fired generation can respond quickly to pick up the slack if the wind suddenly dies or clouds unexpectedly roll in. But, these benefits mean nothing if the communities where gas is produced suffer air and water pollution, or if methane – a powerful global warming pollutant that is the primary ingredient in natural gas – is allowed to leak into the atmosphere unchecked. We all should be worried about global warming and the role that sloppy oil and ...

Don’t expect a Cuban oil bonanza thumbnail

Don’t expect a Cuban oil bonanza

More U.S. travelers may soon start flocking to Cuba, but don’t expect oil executives to follow them. Cuba is believed to hold sizable oil and gas resources off its northwest coast, in the eastern Gulf of Mexico — raising speculation that the Communist nation could become an attractive target for energy companies if Wednesday’s diplomatic thaw eventually leads to the end of the five-decade-old U.S. trade embargo. But exploration by Brazilian, Malaysian and Spanish companies in the past few years has failed to produce any gushers — and the current worldwide glut of cheap oil is not going to encourage many others to follow. “There is not going to be a Cuban oil rush,” said Pavel Molchanov, an energy company analyst with Raymond James. “Just because U.S. companies have been unable to drill in Cuba doesn’t mean nobody has been able to ...

Saudi Arabia’s Oil Strategy Is About More Than Destroying The US Shale Business thumbnail

Saudi Arabia’s Oil Strategy Is About More Than Destroying The US Shale Business

Saudi Arabia may not be aiming at the US in its hands-off policy toward falling oil prices. At a panel discussion Wednesday hosted by the Overseas Press Club and Control Risks (the latter a global risk consultancy), the speakers seemed skeptical of the idea that Saudi Arabia was refusing to prop up oil prices because it wanted to force American producers out of the market. (US shale basins are among the most expensive sources of oil to tap.) There may be better political reasons for this move, with a reduction in American shale supply on the market just being the icing on the cake. The more obvious losers in the current oil climate are Iran and Russia — the former of course being Saudi Arabia's archrival in the region, and the latter being no great friend of the Saudis' either. The pinch to shale may ...

Alternative Energy US will stay in ITER, boosts domestic fusion program
Omnibus spending bill removes the threat of US withdrawal from project. The measure also ...
Public Policy New York Bans Fracking After Health Report
New York state will ban hydraulic fracturing after a long-awaited report concluded that the ...
Decline Rates of Large Oilfields, featuring Jim Buckee thumbnail Decline Rates of Large Oilfields, featuring Jim Buckee
Play Video
Former Talisman Energy CEO Jim Buckee discusses the decline rate of giant and super ...
Oil Prices as an Indicator of Global Economic Conditions thumbnail Oil Prices as an Indicator of Global Economic Conditions
West Texas Intermediate sold for $105 a barrel at the start of July, but ...

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