Posts tagged “big oil”
This week I am focusing on energy trends in global natural gas (NG) supply and demand; or as the Russians prefer to call NG, “the blue fuel,” due to its blue burning properties.
Unlike our more popular hydrocarbon — crude oil — there is no talk of “peak gas”—at least for now. Global NG production has increased at an annual compound rate of 5.3% since 2000, while crude oil’s comparable growth rate has been 1.0%—so we are not running out of NG, and the world is amply supplied or in balance overall. However, there are supply/demand imbalances across regional NG markets.
The major reason for the regional imbalances is that while crude oil is highly fungible or easily transportable, NG is not, which makes NG globally a highly segmented market. While NG can trade under $3.00 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) in North America, it commands prices north of $15 Mcf in Asia.
Unfair Profits or Lots of Volume?
Most people, if asked to name off the top of their head which industries were taking advantage of consumers to generate insanely high profits, would likely have the oil and gas industry at the top of their list. Isn’t it a well-known fact that with gas prices spiraling through the roof, “Big Oil” is by far the most profitable industry out there, hence they must be taking advantage of consumers?
Actually, it’s not that simple. But public opinion would have it otherwise.
In fact, industries such as internet information providers and personal computers rank well above major integrated oil and gas (Big Oil) when it comes to profit margins. The simple definition of profit margin is: A ratio of profitability calculated as net income divided by revenues, or net profits divided by sales. It measures how much out of every dollar of sales a company actually keeps in earnings.
This essay highlights the reason I loathe politics. Here I present a case in which politicians present a partial story and withhold key findings in order to push a specific agenda. But their trump card is that if things don’t go as planned they can assign blame elsewhere. The media is complicit because they have simply lapped up the claims uncritically without having a look at the original source material. Before I get into that, I want to make one thing crystal clear. I want to see oil consumption in the U.S. drop significantly. But to the extent that we require oil, I would like to see that oil produced domestically. I have offered very specific proposals on how to… Continue»
Everyone who thinks Big Oil should get $31 billion from U.S. taxpayers, please sign on the dotted line.
The following guest essay is by Kevin Kane. Kevin is an energy market strategist, Asia political affairs analyst, and Korean language linguist living in Seoul, South Korea. Kevin previously published American Freedom from Oil: A Bipartisan Pipedream. Energy Security Populism: Oil Prices, American Leaders, and Media By Kevin P. Kane American leaders and news outlets often refer to American-company overseas oil field purchases, oil & gas discoveries, freedom-from-oil initiatives, and offshore drilling as vehicles towards energy security. These efforts do not, and cannot, enhance oil security for the U.S. without simultaneously increasing global oil security—defined as insulation from price and supply shocks. Inaccurate views and statements coming from our leaders continue to misinform the public about the nature of oil… Continue»