Current events change nothing faster than they change the oil and gas industry. Keeping on top of relevant topics is necessary in order to predict fluctuations in price, supply, demand, and regulation.
As of July 2018, here are the three most talked about topics in the oil and gas sector with the potential to make a major impact on the industry itself.
An impending shift in industry players is currently weighing heavily on the minds of many companies. So much so, in fact, that several have begun to focus on what could happen rather than what is happening. The possibilities and their potential effect have caused a downward trend in industry attitudes and, consequently, prices. Plausible scenarios include:
- Libya returning to production
- Russia increasing the number of barrels on the market
- The United States tapping into strategic reserves
Each of the above events would have a resounding impact on the industry, and it is imperative that we are prepared to handle all of them.
Venezuela has experienced a significant plummet in oil production since 2015. The country hit “its lowest monthly production level in 69 years” in June, with the exception of a two-month industry strike in late 2002/early 2003. Key data shows that Venezuela’s sudden drop coincides directly with a surge in oil prices first noticed in 2016. Why is that?
A series of projections compiled by industry analysts imply that, had Venezuela continued production at a stable rate from 2015 to 2018, commercial oil inventories would be significantly higher than they are today. Specifically, they’d be at least 350 million barrels higher.
It is anticipated that the country’s production will continue to decline as the number of oil rigs in use also decreases.
A recent report by oil consultancy Wood Mackenzie predicts that the world will reach peak oil demand in 2036. This prediction comes on the heels of several important decisions regarding autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence in the transportation sector.
Ed Rawl, the company’s head of crude oil research states, “We presume [autonomous electric vehicles] become commercial by 2030 and widely accepted by 2035…They will be on the road far more as they are autonomous, displacing a disproportionate amount of oil-based transport.”
It is important to note that the report does not indicate that the date of peak demand, now much sooner than originally anticipated, will immediately impact short-term oil prices. The United States remains poised to grow into the largest oil producer thanks to a growing supply and a probable slow in output from non-OPEC countries by 2023.