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Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Enigmatic Oil & Energy Situation

While scary predictions have been made by experts on the oil situation, the oil industry seems to look at things differently. I always take the industry’s view as more correct and authoritative given my preference to admire people/entities that get things done as against people providing thoughts, howsoever well thought out those could be.
Lee Raymond of Exxon Mobil once said, Thirty to 40 years from now, the combination of price and new technology is going to make unconventional oils—heavy oil, tar sands—conventional. The BP statistical review of world energy 2007 makes interesting reading.
The 55th in the series report notes that although real oil prices remained below the peak of the early 1980s,2005 saw the annual average price measured in nominal terms for a barrel of Brent crude oil exceed $50 a barrel for the first time, with an increase of more than 40% over the 2004 figure. Natural gas prices also rose around the world, with nominal average prices in the USA and UK exceeding $6 per million Btu for the first time. Although energy prices have increased, there has been no physical shortage of either oil or gas. The market has worked effectively in maintaining supplies, even after the dramatic and disruptive effects of the hurricanes that hit the US Gulf Coast in the summer – albeit at higher prices. The report also finds that the world primary energy consumption increased by 2.7% in 2005, below the previous year’s strong growth of 4.4% but still above the 10-yearaverage. Growth slowed from 2004 in every region and for every fuel. The strongest increase was again in the Asia Pacific region, which rose by 5.8%, while North America once more recorded the weakest growth, at 0.3%. US consumption fell slightly, while China accounted for more than half of global energy consumption growth. Time that the world looks at a radically different way to meet global energy demands in future.

Image Courtesy : BP Statistical Review Of World Energy

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