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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Reversal of Fortune

An oil industry trade rag OilWorld.com has flipped from presenting editorials such as this in March:
There are many reasons why the world should begin the switch away from fossil fuels toward alternatives. The certainty of impending shortage is not one of them.

to this in December:
Market edges closer to breaking points
George S. Littell, Partner, Groppe, Long and Littell, Houston
When I went to work for Mobil Oil in 1966, M. King Hubbert's prediction that Lower 48 crude oil production would peak in 1970 was controversial. Debate over the timing of the peak in global oil production can be taken as an indicator that it is getting close. Two years ago, Iraq was the emerging oil power, and the timing of the peak appeared to be between 2007 and 2010. Now that Iraq is a war zone, 2005 is a better bet, and it may have been 2004.

Residential and commercial users of natural gas are dependent upon storage in the heating season. If there is a contest between filling storage in the summer and generating electricity, the gas will end up in storage. The problems in California are almost certain to be repeated on a national scale. The only question is timing.

Other peoples' misconceptions are the problem of the service industry. The longer it takes to change them, the more spectacular the reversal is likely to be. (emphasis mine)

Bets: hedged.


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