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Page added on December 22, 2014

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Energy in 2015: Cheap oil changes everything

General Ideas

A year ago today, few would have predicted a collapse in oil prices would be the biggest energy story of 2014. Pinpointing next year’s equivalent is just as unlikely. Still, we can at least consider what to watch worldwide in one of the most dynamic, unpredictable, and misunderstood industries. Whatever happens in 2015, these five trends will shape the year ahead in global energy.

Oil change

The oil crash fallout will continue worldwide throughout at least the first half of 2015. US shale production growth will slow, perhaps even pause. OPEC will feel mounting existential threats, and may eventually have to cut production. Strapped for cash, more vulnerable petro states like Nigeria and Venezuela will curtail inefficient, regressive fuel subsidies. The effect on price could go either way.

“On one hand, it could bring down demand,” says Brenda Shaffer, a professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies in Washington. “But on the other hand, it might cause domestic instability, which could bring production offline.” Across the globe, nearly $1 trillion in future oil projects are at risk, according to Goldman Sachs.

Politics and power

Just as the US shale boom’s economic realities hit a bump, its political prospects brighten. The rising oil-and-gas superpower’s energy policy gets a whole new look once Republicans take the reins of the US Congress in January. There will be quick action to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, expand LNG exports, peel back the oil export ban, and water down the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Not all of these efforts will succeed – President Obama still holds veto power – but the predominant tone on Capitol Hill will be a far cry from Democrats’ muted, uneasy support for the domestic oil and gas boom. That means some backsliding on climate progress, and much consternation in Moscow, Riyadh, Caracas, and other petro capitals.

CS Monitor



4 Comments on "Energy in 2015: Cheap oil changes everything"

  1. paulo1 on Mon, 22nd Dec 2014 3:12 pm 

    re: “There will be quick action to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, expand LNG exports, peel back the oil export ban,”

    What oil are they planning on exporting? The 30-50% of which they still import or the $100 LTO which is soon to tank?

    CS Monitor is starting to look like Forbes

  2. JuanP on Mon, 22nd Dec 2014 4:17 pm 

    This crap had me laughing from beginning to end. Skip.

  3. Apneaman on Mon, 22nd Dec 2014 6:15 pm 

    “There will be quick action to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, expand LNG exports, peel back the oil export ban”

    That’s just CSM predicting what the Republicans will attempt. Probably because that is what the Republicans have said they will do since the mid terms.
    I doubt a BAU cheerleader would add “Not all of these efforts will succeed”

  4. Kenz300 on Mon, 22nd Dec 2014 6:58 pm 

    The RepubliCONS in congress are supported by the fossil fuel industry and the top 1%…….

    They will do all they can to reduce competition from any alternative to fossil fuels……..

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