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Cheap Oil And The Summer Driving Season

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OPEC is getting ready to have a big party in Vienna as they hammer out an extension of the current OPEC agreement on limiting oil production. While there has been some last minute negotiating by some players like Iraq, it is likely the deal will be extended by nine months. The Wall Street Journal is […]


$25 oil is coming, and along with it, a new world order

Consumption

$25 oil, self-driving cars will be the norm in 2030: Think tank   Tuesday, 23 May 2017 | 12:14 AM ET | 03:28 This article is part of a “Reporter’s Notebook” series, wherein CNBC journalists submit tales and observations from the field. The world as we know it, will be no longer. The balance of power […]


The Coming Seneca Cliff of the Automotive Industry: the Converging Effect of Disruptive Technologies and Social Factors

The Coming Seneca Cliff of the Automotive Industry: the Converging Effect of Disruptive Technologies and Social Factors thumbnail

This graph shows the projected demise of individual car ownership in the US, according to “RethinkX”. That will lead to the demise of the automotive industry as we know it since a much smaller number of cars will be needed. If this is not a Seneca collapse, what is?  Decades of work in research and development taught […]


Moving from age of Energy Scarcity to Abundance

Consumption

The naysayers have always been wrong when it comes to the staying power of energies. Take peak oil, for instance. Nineteenth century swamis were preaching  a flat-earth dreamer’s world when they said that oil production would begin falling and never recover by the early 1900s. The United Nations predicted in 1972 that hydrocarbons would jump […]


Peak Oil? Meet Peak Oil Demand.

Consumption

Nearly 12 years ago, I was writing on the blog to pooh-pooh the notion of peak oil (see below). Now it looks as if large numbers of forecasters are in fact not worried about peak oil (the notion that we will run out of oil) but instead are writing about peak oil demand. [via JR, […]


China may have 90 million fewer people than claimed

China may have 90 million fewer people than claimed thumbnail

China’s population may be much smaller than official data suggests, according to a group of researchers, meaning the nation will be replaced by India as the world’s most populous country sooner than expected. It may also mean the problems created by China’s rapidly ageing population and shrinking workforce are more serious than feared, according to […]


China Love for US Gas Begins as Trump Rolls Out Red Carpet

Consumption

Let the gushing begin. After an executive from U.S. liquefied natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy Inc. spoke to a few hundred people at a conference in Beijing last week, the first question from the audience turned out to be an invitation to visit one of China’s biggest energy firms and a main LNG buyer, the […]


Get Ready for Peak Oil Demand

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The world’s largest oil companies are girding for the biggest shift in energy consumption since the Industrial Revolution: After decades of growth, global demand for oil is poised to peak and fall in the coming years. New technologies that improve fuel efficiency are starting to push down the amount of gasoline and diesel that’s needed […]


Oil outlook – crunch time or gloom mongering?

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That the global oil market is set to tighten over the coming years is not in doubt, but whether it’s time to hit the panic button over a future supply crunch is another issue. Industry warnings over the risk of an oil supply “crunch” and a potential return to high-cost oil in the coming decade […]


Venezuela To Import Gasoline As Crisis Escalates

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For over forty days, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have taken over the main streets and roads of the country to protest against the dictatorial Venezuelan regime. Since the protests started, forty-two people have been killed, 2,371 arrested and thousands injured across the country. Falling oil revenues due to low international oil prices, as well […]


“Peak Hats.” Social Change and the Coming Demise of Private Cars

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For a long time, hats were oversized and expensive status symbols more than tools for protecting people’s heads. During the past half century or so, they have nearly disappeared. A similar destiny may befall on private cars, also oversized and expensive status symbols rather than tools for transporting people. With the disappearance of cars, we […]


The End Of Oil Within 10 Years?

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WOW for this week is regarding Oil “We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history.” So says Stanford University economist Tony Seba in a detailed report. The report paints a pretty grim picture for oil bulls, and an even grimmer one for one horse economies such as […]


Can CRISPR feed the world?

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As the world’s population rises, scientists want to edit the genes of potatoes and wheat to help them fight plant diseases that cause famine. By 2040, there will be 9 billion people in the world. ‘That’s like adding another China onto today’s global population,’ said Professor Sophien Kamoun of the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK. […]


Peak oil will be demand driven

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We were supposed to run out of oil eventually. They called it peak oil. But it will never happen now. At least not how you expected. Can you imagine the early Stone Age humans worrying about running out of stones to make their tools? Or Bronze Age tribes arguing over what would happen to their […]


Oil market re-balancing is here and will continue, IEA says

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The oil market has essentially reached a balance and will continue to accelerate in the near term, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its monthly report published Tuesday, just nine days before OPEC‘s much anticipated ministerial meeting. “We think the rebalancing is here and the rebalancing will continue,” Neil Atkinson, head of the oil […]


One in three people ready to ditch cars for apps

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One in three people say the ability to book a taxi or minicab through their smartphone is an alternative to owning a car, in a sign of the potential upheaval vehicle manufacturers are facing to their business models. Carmakers are grappling with the prospect of falling vehicle ownership in large cities, where parking costs and […]


Death spiral for cars. By 2030, you probably won’t own one

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By 2030, you probably won’t own a car, but you may get a free trip with your morning coffee. Transport-As-A-Service will use only electric vehicles and will upend two trillion-dollar industries. It’s the death spiral for cars. A major new report predicts that by 2030, the overwhelming majority of consumers will no longer own a […]


The trouble with infrastructure

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The trouble with infrastructure is that it breaks down and needs to be repaired, it wears out and needs to be replaced, and it gets destroyed and needs to be rebuilt. All that requires energy, resources, labor and money. Conceptually, here’s the problem we face. The bigger we make any part of our infrastructure–roads, pipelines, […]


Crude Oil: Flip A Coin

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Summary With confirmed break above $49/bbl (“heads”), crude will likely resume its uptrend. With confirmed break below $47/bbl (“tails”), crude will likely begin a new downtrend. In the short run, supply and demand is a mere headline and has little effect on price direction. Introduction Last week, we outlined a bearish case for crude oil […]


Why More Coal, Oil, And Natural Gas Investments Are Needed

Why More Coal, Oil, And Natural Gas Investments Are Needed thumbnail

“I think that, in the end, these hydrocarbons are a huge resource for humanity. And I don’t think we’ve got any good substitute. People think that all these hydrocarbons are going to be stranded and the whole world’s going to change. I think we’re going to use every drop of the hydrocarbons, sooner or later.” […]


IEA to review oil demand outlook after China, India signal auto policy shifts

Consumption

The International Energy Agency will review its electric vehicle (EV) use and oil demand forecasts after India and China recently signaled new policies in favor of electric cars and vehicles using other alternatives to gasoline. In its current policies scenario, last updated in November 2016, the IEA expects vehicle demand for oil to rise until […]


When Oil Stops Pumping Is Game Over

Consumption

There is a consensus between industry leaders and analysts that world oil production will peak between 2010 and 2030, with a significant chance that the peak will occur before 2020. Dates after 2030 were considered implausible by some. Meaning that by the year 2020 the daily production of oil will only decrease. Now, I’m aware […]


The Crop That Ate America

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Farmers who had long rotated plantings among a diverse group of grains are increasingly turning to a single one. Corn has always been a mainstay of U.S. agriculture, but its increasing profitability has driven up corn’s share of total production, while grains such as wheat, oats and sorghum have steadily fallen, according to a Bloomberg […]


Breaking New Ground in Economic Theory

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Steve Keen defines a production function based on energy Professor Steve Keen may be the first mainstream economist to address a fatal flaw in economic theory: omitting or minimizing the role of energy. Keen has developed a production formula incorporating energy, not as one factor of production along with capital and labor, but as the […]


Oil Below $65 Per Barrel…For Years

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  Recognizing that something had to be done to halt the latest crash in oil prices, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister went public with his support not only for an extension of the OPEC cuts for another six months, but he also dangled the possibility of an extension into next year. “Based on consultations that I’ve […]


Is There Life Before Death?

Is There Life Before Death? thumbnail

As the conversation about Near-Term Human Extinction (NTHE) grows increasingly deafening, I notice many people behaving as if they are already dead—and in fact they may be. Do we have 15 years, 20 years, 50 years? Should I move to another location? What’s the point of doing the job I now have? Why even have […]


Population growth will fall to zero in Asia by 2050

Population growth will fall to zero in Asia by 2050 thumbnail

Asia’s rapidly ageing population means the region is shifting from being the biggest contributor to the global workforce to subtracting hundreds of millions of people from it, according to the International Monetary Fund. The reversal of the so-called “demographic dividend” will drag on global growth and also that in Asia, the world’s fastest growing region, […]


What if it IS Different for Oil This Time?

Consumption

It’s time we prepare ourselves. It may actually be different for oil this time… Yeah, I know. It’s an article of faith for investors. Anytime you hear someone say, “It’s different this time,” you can chuckle to yourself with an air of superiority, because you know, you KNOW, that person is just wrong. And not only […]


Is There Such a Thing as a “Net Energy Cliff?”

Is There Such a Thing as a “Net Energy Cliff?” thumbnail

New research outlines how energy resource depletion and declining energy return on investment (EROI) may affect prosperity. Modern, prosperous lifestyles are heavily dependent on the availability of abundant, low-cost energy supplies. In fact, a society and its component parts (people, groups, organisations, institutions) are physical systems that require inflows of affordable energy resources with high […]


Art Berman: Don’t Get Used To Today’s Low Oil Prices

Consumption

Oil expert and geological consultant Art Berman returns to the podcast this week to address head-on the question: Was the Peak Oil theory wrong? With the world “awash” in sub-$50 per barrel oil, were all the warnings about persistently higher future oil prices just a bunch of alarmist hand-wringing? In a word: No. Art explains […]


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