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When Economic Growth Indicates Failure


Nothing can be duller than listening to an economist or other policy expert pontificate endlessly on such metrics as gross domestic product, stock market prices, employment, and consumer confidence. Most of all they talk about GDP: Rising GDP is good; falling GDP is bad. But as a measure of economic activity, GDP is what it […]

“We Must Avoid Day Zero” – Cape Town Is 90 Days Away From Running Out Of Water


If you’ve ever needed a reason to store extra food and water, this just might be it.   Cape Town, South Africa is on schedule to run out of water in less than 95 days, and when they do, the government will turn off the taps. “There are only 95 days left before we reach […]

Peak oil demand and its implications for prices


Even if oil consumption reaches a peak and then starts to fall, the world will still need large quantities of oil for many decades to come. “Global oil demand is likely to continue growing for a period, driven by rising prosperity in fast-growing developing economies,” they wrote in a paper published on Monday. “But that […]

The equations are changing for the oil industry


In 1846, the US was the behemoth of the whaling industry, with Nantucket Island and New Bedford, Massachusetts its twin capitals. Demand for whale oil, as industrial lubricants or as fuel for heating and lighting, had driven the growth of the whaling industry by a factor of fourteen since 1816. New Bedford had the highest […]

Oil Could Hit $80 a Barrel This Year


Tightening global supplies and rising demand for crude oil helped prices for the commodity start the year with a bang—hitting their highest levels in more than three years—and many analysts believe the market has the fuel it needs to continue the rally to as high as $80 a barrel. “The reason that oil will soar […]

Are we ‘Beyond Meat’?

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With the world’s population increasing, we’re increasingly seeing pollution and the mass consumption of land jeopardising the earth’s future for generations to come. Can we help? Slowly, people are realising the importance in nurturing the earth and what can be done to positively progress. Start-up ‘envirotech’ companies are using their knowledge of global warming to […]

Oil Reaches $70 a Barrel for First Time in Three Years


Oil topped $70 a barrel in London for the first time in three years as production cuts by OPEC and rising demand whittle away a global surplus. Brent crude futures, used in the pricing of more than half the world’s oil, rose as much as 1.2 percent to the highest since Dec. 4, 2014. Prices […]

Bedazzled by Energy Efficiency


To focus on energy efficiency is to make present ways of life non-negotiable. However, transforming present ways of life is key to mitigating climate change and decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels. Energy efficiency policy Energy efficiency is a cornerstone of policies to reduce carbon emissions and fossil fuel dependence in the industrialised world. For […]

Europe Becomes Victim Of Russia’s Newest Oil Strategy


Higher shipments of Russian crude oil to China may saddle European importers with a fatter bill, an industry consultancy warned at the end of last year, noting the latest stage of Russia’s Eastern pivot: the launch of the expanded East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline that would lift Urals crude supply to China twofold, to 30 million […]

The end of the internal combustion engine

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The adoption of the internal combustion engine, a revolutionary invention that took the power of the steam locomotive and made it more compact and convenient, saw horse-drawn carriages moved from the streets to the history books within 15 years. Enormous fortunes were made, everyday life was transformed and cityscapes were reimagined. Now, almost a century […]

Inevitable Job-Growth Slowdown Could Be a Good Thing


The U.S. economy is still creating lots of jobs, with a seasonally adjusted 148,000 added in December and 2.2 million (not seasonally adjusted, for reasons I discuss below) for full-year 2017, according to Friday’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That 2.2 million is up a little (93,000 jobs, to be misleadingly precise […]

Hawaii’s existential choice: Tourism, food and survival


Hawaiians used to feed themselves quite easily on this island paradise. With the arrival of Europeans and Americans came European and American ideas about plantation agriculture. Hawaii became a producer of coffee, sugar, pineapple, papaya, rice and other plantation crops. While destroying Hawaii’s diverse food system, the growers created a prosperous agricultural trading economy with […]

Death of a Mall Man


    Discuss this article at the Economics Table inside the Diner Death of a Salesman was written by Arthur Miller in 1947, and is widely considered one of the greatest plays of the 20th Century.  It’s a play about broken dreams and the lifetime failure of the protagonist, Willy Loman.  It’s a sad and […]

What does peak oil demand mean for the future of gas?


In our final editorial in our peak oil demand series, we look at the consequences of peak oil demand on gas. Many oil majors are talking about reshaping their supply portfolio towards gas in response to concerns about peak oil demand. Massimo Di Odoardo, Vice President, Gas Research talks us through the potential for gas […]

Toyota wants to change the world with Mirai, its new hydrogen car

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The fourth-generation Toyota Prius is manufactured at the company’s Tsutsumi plant, a few kilometres south-east of Nagoya, around 100 minutes from Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train. From Tsutsumi’s viewing gantries, two production lines stretch away into the distance. These halls house the trim workshop. Here, completed body shells roll in, are divested of their doors […]

Ten Years Ago Oil Was Worth $100 More Than Today

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As the calendar changes, the price of West Texas Intermediate oil (WTI) is hovering around $60 per barrel. WTI is the U.S. benchmark oil and the underlying commodity used by the New York Mercantile Exchange in oil futures contracts. It is based on a type of light, sweet oil that was produced primarily in Texas […]

The Biggest Oil Story Of 2017

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There have been plenty of eye-catching stories in the energy industry this year, but one notable development has been the rise of the U.S. as a crude oil exporter. The ban on crude exports from the U.S. was lifted at the end of 2015, and exports ticked up in the following year, but only modestly. […]

Global economic growth in 2018 on track to be fastest since 2011


The global economy is set to grow by almost 4% in 2018 in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, adding an extra $5 trillion to global output at current values, according to new projections in PwC’s Global Economy Watch. The main engines of the global economy – the US, emerging Asia and the Eurozone – are […]

India’s Insatiable thirst for oil

India’s Insatiable thirst for oil thumbnail

In the Eighties, consumption of oil was the highest in Europe followed by North America. European oil demand, more or less, remained stagnant over the last 15 years, whereas Asian-Pacific countries picked up consumption in the Nineties. Notably, the current demand drivers are India and China. There are multiple competing arguments supporting oil consumption growth […]

Shale Growth Hides Underlying Problems


All eyes are on U.S. shale as we head into 2018, with a growing number of analysts worrying that shale will spoil the oil price rally. Estimates of supply growth varying quite a bit, but directionally, everyone is in agreement: Supply is set to surge. However, there are some cracks in the shale complex that […]

What The Peak Oil Demand Group Is Missing


Summary In Part 1, we showed that the impact of EV growth is highly overestimated. Here, we look at the biggest demand factor being underestimated. India. In Part 1 of this series, we explained why Electric Vehicles (EV) while strong will unlikely make a dent in existing demand for more than a decade. Here, we […]

Brent Hits Two-Year High


Brent crude closed at its highest in more than two years as shrinking U.S. stockpiles allay concerns over a global glut, while a key North Sea oil pipeline remains shut. In New York, futures closed at their highest in two weeks. Crude stockpiles last week plunged by the most since the height of North America’s […]

How Will Fossil Fuels Fare In 2040?


Fossil fuels have been the dominant source of energy for global economic prosperity for over 150 years. In 2016, fossil fuels overwhelmingly account for over 85 percent in global total primary energy consumption (TPEC)—but what role will they play in 2040 and beyond? There’s an ongoing debate among various agencies, researchers and academia whether the […]

What were the precursors to peak coal?


Next in our peak oil demand series, we’ll look more closely at the impacts of peak demand on the power and renewables market. Read our coverage on how peak oil demand could affect companies and the upstream, supply chain, metals, refining and chemicals industries.

What Will Drive The Next Oil Price Crash?

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As we roll into 2018, analysts and investors are more optimistic that the oil market will further tighten next year and support higher oil prices, but rising U.S. shale production will likely cap any significant price gains. On the demand side, expectations are that global economic growth will support solid oil demand growth. On the […]

Why the prospect of ‘Peak Oil’ is hotly debated

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The world is turning its back on oil. But how quickly? Technological advances driven by the threat of climate change could mean the world’s thirst for petroleum tops out sooner than companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. or giant producers like Saudi Arabia are banking on. “Peak oil” has been debated for decades, but today […]

Canada’s Economy Unexpectedly Stalls as Oil Production Drops


Canada’s economy unexpectedly stalled in October on a decline in oil output, a disappointing kickoff to the final quarter of 2017. Gross domestic product was unchanged from September, Statistics Canada reported Friday in Ottawa, weighed down by a 3.5 percent drop in production by oil sands companies. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had forecast a […]

What Happened to Peak Oil?

What Happened to Peak Oil? thumbnail

I was first introduced to the concept of “peak oil” 15 years ago. It was a simple theory: Oil is a finite resource. At some point in time, the world’s ability to increase oil production would ultimately “peak.” And this peak would be followed by a terminal decline in global output. The theory has been around […]

Venezuela Is Living a Hyperinflation Nightmare

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The human toll. Photographer: Roman Camacho/NurPhoto/Getty Images In most macroeconomic models, the economy is a staid and stately thing, where prices, output and other economic variables wiggle up and down by small amounts but ultimately return to their long-term trends. And for much of the time — excluding the occasional Great Depression or Great Recession […]

Peak Oil – Club Of Rome – Ian Dunlop


Ian Dunlop is Deputy Convener of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil. Working with the Club of Rome, Ian wrote and helped produce this presentation on Peak Oil, also available as a Flash application here (Mac Only):…

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