Global oil supply to lag demand after 2020 unless new investments are approved soon

Global oil supply could struggle to keep pace with demand after 2020, risking a sharp increase in prices, unless new projects are approved soon, according to the latest five-year oil market forecast from the International Energy Agency.

The global picture appears comfortable for the next three years but supply growth slows considerably after that, according to Oil 2017, the IEA’s market analysis and forecast report previously known as the Medium-Term Oil Market Report. The demand and supply trends point to a tight global oil market, with spare production capacity in 2022 falling to a 14-year low.

The “Wind and Solar Will Save Us” Delusion

In my opinion, the time has come to move away from believing that everything that is called “renewable” is helpful to the system. We now have real information on how expensive wind and solar are, when indirect costs are included. Unfortunately, in the real world, high-cost is ultimately a deal killer, because wages don’t rise at the same time. We need to understand where we really are, not live in a fairy tale world produced by politicians who would like us to believe that the situation is under control.

Short at some point in the next 5 years

2015 was a year where a lot of projects came online that were developed in previous years. There is less of that this year. So 2 million for this year seem reasonable. Next year will be interesting.

If demand keeps growing, there should be a substantial shortfall, draining storage. The only way to close the fast growing gap is a miraculous recovery of Libya and others that are currently hampered by political unrest.

There are still a lot of projects due this year and next and even into 2018, but not quite enough to make up for the declines. Probably 2.5 to 3.5 mmbpd fall over the three years barring big, unexpected outages. In 2019, 2020 and 2021 there will be dramatic and accelerating falls unless a lot of expensive, and currently delayed, oil developments are fast tracked soon, or a lot of very cheap oil is found somewhere, or in fill drilling ramps up quickly on the big reservoirs. We’ll get to see the truth behind LTO sustainability and flexibility; that and depending on how demand goes, plus the real storage numbers will determine prices and therefore future supply developments. Overall though I agree, I think we will suddenly find ourselves short at some point in the next 5 years, and without many options.

My Chicken of an EV

I am not yet personally convinced that we will see an EV revolution. Batteries still do, and likely always will, disappoint. I am learning similar lessons on the nickel-iron battery front. We may have to face the fact that gasoline has been the ultimate transportation fuel, and the economists’ picture of universal substitutability may not apply. If EVs can never really outperform gasoline in cost, ease/simplicity, convenience, and robustness—and if they remain expensive to own and maintain, from where will the prosperity derive for us to all have such marvelous toys?

Argentina and China lead shale development outside North America in first-half 2015

En-dehors de l’Amérique du Nord, ce sont l’Argentine et la Chine qui sont en tête du développement des gaz de schiste

Energy  June 26, 2015  [26]

As recently as last year, only four countries in the world were producing commercial volumes of either natural gas from shale formations (shale gas) or crude oil from tight formations (tight oil): the United States and Canada, and more recently, Argentina and China. Beyond these four countries, other countries have started exploring hydrocarbons from shale and other tight resources, but they are still short of reaching commercial production.

L’année passée, quatre pays au monde ont produit des quantités rentables de gaz ou de pétrole de schiste (gaz de roche-mère ou pétrole de réservoirs étanches): les Etats-Unis, le Canada, et plus récemment l’Argentine et la Chine. A part ces quatre pays, d’autres pays ont commencé des programmes d’exploration, mais sont encore loin d’atteindre une production jugée rentable.

Renewable Energy Will Not Support Economic Growth

Les énergies renouvelables ne sont pas compatibles avec la croissance économique

Energy  June 22, 2015  [26]

The world needs to end its dependence on fossil fuels as quickly as possible. That’s the only sane response to climate change, and to the economic dilemma of declining oil, coal, and gas resource quality and increasing extraction costs. The nuclear industry is on life support in most countries, so the future appears to lie mostly with solar and wind power. But can we transition to these renewable energy sources and continue using energy the way we do today? And can we maintain our growth-based consumer economy?

The answer to both questions is, probably not. Let’s survey four important sectors of the energy economy and tally up the opportunities and challenges.

Le monde doit mettre une fin à sa dépendance aux combustibles fossiles le plus rapidement possible. C’est la seule réponse sensée au changement climatique et au dilemme économique posé par l’augmentation des coûts d’extraction du gaz, du charbon et du pétrole. L’industrie nucléaire est aux soins intensifs dans la plupart des pays, donc le futur semble reposer principalement sur les énergies solaires et éoliennes. Mais peut-on effectuer une transition vers ces énergies renouvelables et continuer à utiliser l’énergie de la même manière que nous le faisons aujourd’hui? Et pouvons-nous maintenir notre économie basée sur la croissance?

La réponse à ces deux questions est que non, nous ne le pouvons pas. Analysons quatre secteurs importants de l’économie au regard de l’énergie: l’électricité, le transport, l’industrie et la nourriture.