Sunday, July 20, 2008

Charles Hugh Smith: Oil Down $16 to $130, Everything Wonderful Again: Not

Full blog post here.

Frequent contributor U. Doran sent in this link from the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas-USA: Peak Oil Is A Done Deal .

Bottom line: Saudi Arabia and Russia, which together pump about 23% of the world's oil, are both in depletion decline. So are Mexico, the North Sea, etc.

Simply put: every time the "Oil Bull" is declared dead, as it was in January, it rises with extraordinary alacrity to new heights. The reason is not gol-durned speculators but supply and demand--even as demand inches downward, supply is declining even faster.

Let's put "demand destruction" in the U.S. in its proper context. 300,000 barrels a day is chump-change in a nation which burns 21 million barrels a day. if supply were increasing by leaps and bounds as it was in the 80s, fine, then you could have a huge demand-supply imbalance in favor of supply. But by even the most optimistic estimates, "excess capacity" (all in heavy crude few can refine) is about 1.4 million barrels a day--a razor-thin margin.

I have predicted one last "head-fake" decline in oil prices, but it's going to take serious reduction in demand, on the order of 4-5 million barrels a day globally, to get that drop.

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