2011 February 18

The Master Resource Report  2011-02-18

Oil and the U.S. trade deficit. (page 1 )

$300 oil by 2020. (page 1 )

U.S. air travel to double over the next 20 years? (page 2 )

The hidden cost of coal power generation. (page 2 )

Vehicles may face competition for batteries. (page 3 )

Not all coal is for generating power. (page 4 )

So why are oil prices up?

The graph below illustrates the price of different grades of oil now and three years ago at the beginning of the now famous 2008 oil price spike to nearly $150/b. We have not heard the chorus of calls about the speculators yet but if the price trend continues it will soon begin to ring out from everyone that has a reason to find a scapegoat.

But for now one of the major culprits (demand) is easy to identify. “China’s crude oil imports in January rose 27 percent from a year-ago to the fourth highest on record, as refiners raised production and beefed up diesel inventories to fight a drought.” For nearly a century the use of more energy has been the world’s go to solution to  solve shortages, whether it is drilling more wells for water , drilling more wells for more oil or mining more ore. However the days of that being the preferred action are now nearing the end of that game.

So now back to the graph. It is clear that the global price of oil sits at or above $100/b. Not the $85/b currently quoted in the local newspaper for WTI. While that price disparity is interesting and will be food for many an oil guru’s talks during the months ahead it is the reality of $100 oil that is what matters and the strong likelihood it will go even higher. In this week’s report there is a prediction for $300/b oil, that’s right $300/b. Ouch..!

Data source: upstreamonline.com