Posts tagged “crude oil prices”
This week BP (NYSE: BP) released their Statistical Review of World Energy 2014. This is always a big event for energy wonks, and as always I will break it down in a series of articles. My goal is always to flesh out important tidbits that were perhaps overlooked by the media. Here are some of the major findings from this year’s release that have been reported. In 2013:
- US oil production had the largest increase in the country’s history
- US oil demand grew at a faster pace last year than China’s, although China’s overall energy demand grew faster
- Asia increased solar output last year more than Europe for the first time ever
- Emerging economies accounted for 80% of energy consumption growth
- Global oil production rose to a new all-time high
In one of those overlooked tidbits I like to point out, while global oil production did indeed set a new record — rising in 2013 by 557,000 barrels per day (bpd) over 2012 — without the US increase of 1.1 million bpd, global production would have declined by 554,000 bpd. But I will take a deeper dive into that starting next week. Today I want to talk about Iraq.
Or, more precisely the impact the unfolding events in Iraq have had on the global oil markets, and more specifically how those oil markets actually work. I had an interesting discussion with someone last week, after a remark was made about oil companies using any excuse — like potential supply disruptions in Iraq — to immediately jack up oil prices. CONTINUE»
On May 3rd I will be delivering a talk called Moving Beyond Oil Dependence as a part of UC Santa Barbara’s Spring 2012 Chemical Engineering Seminar Series. The talk will roughly follow the outline of my book, and I have used several graphics from the book in the presentation.
However, I created a couple of graphics specifically for this presentation that I believe explain the majority of the oil price escalation over the past decade. True, part of the price rise may be due to speculation, but the following two graphics show just how robust demand has been even in the face of $100 oil. The data source for both graphics is the 2011 BP Statistical Review of World Energy:
The reason that oil company profits are so volatile is that sometimes the price of oil becomes pretty disconnected from the cost to produce it and convert it into finished products. This is because oil is a globally traded commodity, and like other commodities such as corn, iron, and pork bellies, the price is set by how much people are willing to pay for it. This is an important point that is often lost on people who seem to believe that commodities are priced the way Ford prices trucks: Determine the cost of production and a return on the investment, and you arrive at a price. Unlike most trucks, a barrel of oil may see its price change dramatically without… Continue»