Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Energy Wars: The "Shale-Oil Insurgency"

Interesting analysis from Nikos Tsafos writing in The National Interest Shale-Oil Surprise: OPEC Faces an Insurgency, Not a Price War
Between June and November 2014, oil prices have fallen by some 40 percent, courtesy of robust growth in output and a bleaker outlook for oil demand. In late November, The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) chose to keep its production quotas intact, triggering several obituaries and talks of a price war between OPEC and the United States, where most of the additional supply originates. Yet war is not quite the right term; insurgency is more like it—decentralized, adaptive and, likely, inconclusive.

Gone are the days where high oil prices triggered a production response with a seven-to-ten-year lag (to allow for acreage acquisition, exploration, appraisal and then development of an oil field). When a system can grow as quickly as the United States’ can, then clearly, the world has a competing source of “spare capacity,” meaning capacity that could come online quickly to meet market needs.
Good read.

And, really, isn't "energy independence" mostly about being able to quickly fill market needs?

"Decentralized" "Adaptive" -- I like that in the energy context.

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