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Crude oil prices have dominated headlines and industry attention over the past year. In 2014 and continuing in 2015, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to unconstrained output for it 12 member countries, resulting in a dramatic increase in global oil supply. Meanwhile, China and Europe’s demand for oil has remained relatively steady. In addition, U.S. domestic production nearly doubled since 2008, decreasing domestic imports and leaving more oil on the global market. As a result, oil prices fell from $90 per barrel in 2014 to $46 per barrel today and projections indicate prices between $30 and $60 per barrel… [more]View Insight
Many are familiar with peak oil theory — the idea that global oil production will hit a ceiling and then decline — yet the concept of peak oil demand, where demand will plateau before supply, appears to be replacing this controversial hypothesis. Amy Myers Jaffe, Executive Director of Energy and Sustainability at UC Davis, recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal that a combination of technical, economic, environmental and demographic shifts could lead to peak global oil demand in the next two decades. By contrast, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that global oil demand will rise from 87 million barrels per… [more]View Insight
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz recently acknowledged that it may be time to lift the ban on exporting crude oil, a comment that elicited a flurry of support and opposition toward the idea and highlighted the need for a thorough debate on the issue. The ban was enacted in 1975, along with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as an energy supply security measure in response to the Arab oil embargoes. Since that time, the US energy landscape has changed and many are calling for a review of potentially outdated policies. “Those restrictions on exports were borne, as was the Department of Energy… [more]View Insight
The crude oil price spikes and high fuel costs experienced in the U.S. over the past ten years have encouraged many attempts to identify the underlying causes of these trends. Diminishing oil resources, slowing rates and increasing costs of production, financial speculation and geopolitics are all common arguments used to explain the recent volatile price changes in oil. But is there a correct answer? According to a recent MIT study, one theory can be ruled out: financial speculation. “We show speculation had little, if any, effect on prices and volatility,” and may have even decreased prices, wrote the authors of… [more]View Insight