Thursday, February 11, 2016

Why Oil Will Never Recover and Russia is Doomed

In 2007 oil was going for $90 a barrel, the experts were predicting $150, and peak oil was all the rage.  I predicted that in 30 years the price of oil would still only be $30 a barrel. 
I forecast the rise of shale oil and the electric car would force oil prices lower.  Tight oil indeed has plummeted the price of oil and the electric car will finish off the sticky black stuff.

For the electric car to really go mainstream, batteries have to hold twice the current power, half their cost, and be able to recharge in 10 minutes.  With tanker trucks of cash pouring into top research labs around the world to find the better battery - and its only a matter of engineering now - the new battery tech should be here in the next few years (although ultimately super-capacitors will drive our cars, but for the near future it will be chemical batteries).

Once we get that half-the-cost, twice-the-range, fast-charging battery, the electric car market will slowly accelerate.  It won't take all the new cars to be electric, but just enough to start nudging the world consumption of oil on a long downward slope.   When producers realize that all that oil in the ground has a shelf life, they will race to the exits and try to get anything for their oil.  The price will be in free fall.

The falling price will effect countries differently.  Importing countries will do well.  Those countries reliant on oil, well, that's a different story. 

With it's aging population, poorly run economy, and dependency on oil, the current state of Russia will be doomed.  Hopefully out of the ashes of an oil dependent economy, the bear will spring resilient and remake itself, but I wouldn't lay odds on it.

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