Thursday, September 10, 2015

Energy preview of coming attractions.

According to the most recent issue of the AAPG explorer, Iran has the capacity to add 500,000 bbls/day to its production capacity relatively easily.  Beyond that, however, a decline in its petroleum infrastructure requires investment and building.

If that's done, it can add up to 900,000 bbls/day.  That's small, compared to Saudi Arabia, or the United States, but it's not insignificant.  The decline in US production due to the fall in prices has been about 130,000 bbls/day.

The long and the short of this is that the recent glut of petroleum on the market is likely to increase after the recent agreement with Iran is finalized. This will take months to have an impact, but the overall impact is to keep petroleum prices low, and perhaps drive them lower.  Oil at lower than $40/bbl for the foreseeable future seems likely.

On other news, contrary to some Internet myths, generation of electricity by wind power is now cheaper than any other market alternative, and the expansion of the same is retarded only by access to transmission lines.  This means that the argument on wind's viability is over, in spite of there being a local debate on the same with some insisting that it's dirtier in absolute terms than coal, and not viable but for government assistance.  It's gotten over its initial economic teething stage and locally it's only held up by regulation and a lack of transmission lines.

None of this will be really popular news locally, as it would appear nearly certain that we've entered a stage where oil exploration will really stall out and coal will continue to decline.  But stating those apparent facts, particularly for somebody whose lived through it before, doesn't mean a person is wishing the results, only noting what the facts seem to lead to.

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