The big story in crude oil markets over the past few years was the historic price divergence between West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent, the world’s 2 most-widely traded crude oil contracts. However, after blowing out to an unprecedented $27 per barrel Brent premium in summer 2011, the story is now about Brent-WTI contraction and… Keep reading →
The world’s swelling population and continued economic growth will require increasing volumes of oil to power the cars, trucks, trains and planes that transport people and goods around the planet. But the Citi commodities research team has questioned the extent of that assumption in a new research report titled “Global Oil Demand Growth – the End is Nigh.”
This rethinking of global oil demand trajectory is driven by the analyst’s view that natural gas will increasingly be substituted for oil in the transportation, power generation and industrial sectors, while considerable gains in fuel economy “raise the possibility that the tipping point for oil demand may come much sooner than the markets are expecting.” Keep reading →
China recently surpassed the US as the world’s largest net oil importer, as the US produces more and consumes less while Chinese demand steadily increases. US net oil imports have fallen from a peak of 13 million barrels per day in October 2006 to under 6 mmb/d in December 2012, according to a Citi research note issued February 28, titled “Milestones Toward US Energy Independence – Alert: US net Oil Imports Plummet to Second Place Behind China.”
“Meanwhile, since China flipped from a net exporter to a net importer of oil in 1993, its net oil imports have risen steadily to 6.3 mmb/d in January 2013, just under last May’s peak,” the Citi analysts said in the note. Keep reading →
The greatest roadblock to developing smart grids in the US is not high up-front investment, good news when 65 million electric vehicles could be on the road by 2025, according to the results of a recent annual electric utility industry survey. Infrastructure firm Black & Veatch queried over 500 qualified industry participants about some of the most prescient issues of the day and the results may surprise you.
The top issues the industry is concerned about in 2012 are aging infrastructure, reliability and the environment. Aging infrastructure steadily crept to the top of the list over the past three years – in the 2009/2010 survey the issue ranked sixth in a list of the top ten. The importance of security has also gained importance according to the survey participants. Keep reading →