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1 Oct 3 2014 @ 12:40pm by Matt Smith in Blog, Crude Oil, Economy, energy consulting, Global Energy, Natural Gas

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same…

The above phrase is from the translation of  ‘plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose‘ by the French novelist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr. Regardless, not only is it great, but also highly applicable to a veritable selection of shenanigans going on across energyland™. 

First up – or actually first and second up, are two examples from the latest Key World Energy Statistics, recently released by the IEA. These examples show snapshots of how certain energy commodities have contributed to the energy landscape over the last forty years. And despite how much things have changed…the more they have stayed the same.

The first chart shows crude oil production, which, for all of its expansion, shows that geographical performance has stayed pretty much the same. The OECD, Asia, and Europe & Eurasia have barely budged. Only the Middle East has seen a noticeable drop, though maintaining the lion’s share, while China shows a modest increase:

The second chart shows total global consumption. Despite consumption basically doubling in the last forty years as more of the world has gained access to electricity, the shares for oil, coal, natural gas, and biofuels and waste have all remained remarkably similar:  

Next up, we switch gears and look at the US gasoline market. On the supply side we have seen US refining reaching a record level this summer, while gasoline exports have ramped up to 445,000 barrels a day. Nonetheless, despite a revolution underway (of the shale variety), gasoline demand has been steady as she goes, while inventories have stuck to the five-year average like glue. The more change there is, the more it has stayed the same:   

Switching commodities, natural gas has had a tumultuous year, starting the storage injection season in spring from the lowest level since 2003 at 822 Bcf. Yet as we have seen storage refilled at a record pace to 3,100 Bcf, reducing the deficit from 55% to 11% versus the five-year average, one thing has stayed the same: every storage injection over the last 24 weeks has been larger than the five-year average. Quite remarkable, and a testament to such a mild summer and record production: 

Finally, let us wrap up with a peek into the future. For our fifth and final chart looks at US primary energy use in 2040. Granted we should take the below chart with a grain (or two) of salt, given the potential for technological advancements over the next two and a half decades. But on face value, it is quite astonishing that by 2040 – despite all the emphasis on becoming more environmentally responsible – the US will still be 80% reliant on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs.  The more things change….

As always, thanks for playing. ‘Til next time….don’t go changin’, y’hear!

1 Comment on this post:

  1. alpha2actual says:

    The latest ploy from Anthropogenic Global Warming/Sustainability Cult is the Fossil Fuel Divestment movement.

    The health and uninterrupted functioning of international Fossil Fuel Markets determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only Exxon Mobil, and Chevron, and BP, and Royal Dutch Shell, Peabody Energy, and BHP Billiton . Those are the nations of the world today. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, it has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, to see that… perfect world… in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality, no Anthropogenic Climate Change. Only one vast and ecumenical holding company of fossil fuel conglomerates, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused, all IPhone GPS tracking disabled.

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