Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Peak oil

We were assured that US oil production has passed its peak, never to recur. Then this:

U.S. crude inventories probably rose from a 82-year high as domestic output remained near the most in two decades and demand fell, a Bloomberg survey showed.
Meanwhile, gasoline demand is way down.

However, although demand is way down, and production is way up, "Imports jumped 602,000 a day, or 8 percent, to 8.17 million barrels, the most since Jan. 4."

That old invisible hand works funny.

RtO is not looking for $10/barrel oil any time soon, though. Robert Precter was, as recently as August 2009:

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil may plunge to less than $10 a barrel in the next decade after surging to a record $147 last year, said Robert Prechter, who achieved fame for cautioning on Oct. 5, 1987, that stocks would crash.
Oh, well, at least we won't have to go to war for oil again, although RtO doesn't recall that a) we got any oil the last time; or b) Syria has a lot of oil.

There are different ways to measure inflation. Measured by what reporters are paid at The Maui News, oil that was $10 in 1987 would be around $18 now, in constant dollars. Today's crude price is around $95. Hmmm.


  1. However, although demand is way down, and production is way up, "Imports [of gasoline] jumped ... 8 percent..."

    We pump more and more crude but don't build refineries so we'll have to eventually export the oil to places with refineries and then import the gasoline and other refined products.

  2. Too true. And, added bonus, other places don't give a damn about the environment, so cheap!

  3. Although, if you look at the report, refineries are running about 85% capacity. A year or two ago, they were at 99.9% or thereabouts and not able to meet demand.

    The refiners believed, silly them, that they could shut down "excess" capacity because it was, well, excess, and they would never need it again.

    But, oh, joy, the retail price of gas went up, but when the refinery crunch went down, the retail price did not, at least not nearly as much.

    I am enjoying ownership of several petroleum-related stocks, one of which went up 70% today.