2012 March 30

The Master Resource Report  2012-03-30

In its inaugural year, the symposium will explore baseline forecasts for global oil production, taking a hard look at production forecasts for Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Russia. We will also look at the emerging areas of production: deepwater, the Arctic and shale/tight oils, and will discuss natural gas liquids, which have become the largest incremental source of petroleum liquids. Finally, the conference will discuss key demand factors in the coming year, including China and Europe, with a luncheon talk on the impact of oil prices on the global economy.

For further information visit Oil Supply & Demand: Studying the Wildcards.

First it was Apple. Now it is PetroChina

Apple recently replaced ExxonMobil as the world’s most valuable company and now it has been knocked off another perch. “Exxon Mobil is no longer the world’s biggest publicly traded producer of oil. For the first time, that distinction belongs to a 13-year-old Chinese company called PetroChina. The Beijing company was created by the Chinese government to secure more oil for that nation’s booming economy.”

PetroChina reported it pumped 2.4 million barrels of oil in 2011 surpassing ExxonMobil by 100,000 per day. The Chinese oil giant increased its production by 3% while ExxonMobil’s declined 5%.

But as this week’s report points out that didn’t translate it the same positive news for China’s own domestic oil production last year.

Try explaining this to the guy who just filled his tank.

“The EIA said, when adjusted for inflation, it cost 23 cents to drive 1 mile in 1980. By February 2012, the cost was about 16.5 cents.”

Now of course implicit in that statement is that everyone’s income has at least matched inflation since 1980. However depending on your place in place in the employment world that relationship may not be true. More important to the consumer though is how much of their spendable income goes in the tank and as prices climb that amount increases. For most people the world the EIA economists live in is not the one they live in everyday. Nice try guys.

There is more on gasoline consumption and price in this week’s report.

Which will it be water or natural gas?

Bloomberg reported Thursday that “Tests by the Environmental Protection Agency of water in Dimock, Pennsylvania, found elevated levels of methane consistent with leakage from gas drilling nearby, according to scientists who reviewed the data.”

So is hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and oil extraction safe or not? The answer to that question is taking painfully long to work out. The nation’s clean water and energy policy both depend on a reliable and honest answer. But like so many issues today it is contaminated and infected by politics and private interests to the exclusion of a thorough and rational investigation.

It is interesting to observe the struggle between the two property rights sides. Those after the short-term reward of the natural gas extraction and those vested in the long-term dependence on having access to clean water. The winner of this struggle will tell us a lot about our future and that of our children.

Surplus oil production capacity and recessions

In his monthly piece for Logistics Management Derik Andreoli takes a look at recessionary risks as global surplus oil production capacity shrinks. Surplus global oil production capacity doesn’t come up in the political discussion. It is far to nuanced for a 30 second news bite but it is about all that matters.

“In the January Logistics Management Annual Rate Outlook webcast, I warned that surplus oil production capacity is likely to fall into the danger zone before the end of the year. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) most recent Oil Market Report (March) supports this conclusion, warning that surplus production capacity has been eroded since the beginning of the year, and that “the market’s relatively slim ‘buffer’ suggests a bumpy ride in the months ahead.”