Art Berman: The Coming Moonshot In Oil Prices

Great article!  My takeaway:

  1. A huge amount of new debt at miniscule interest rates allowed enough new, expensive production to come on line since 2008 to increase global liquids production significantly.
  2. However, the cost of the oil and the fact that much of the debt went for nonproductive expenditures (consumption or low return investments) has exhausted the economy.
  3. (My addition).  Furthermore the fact that most of this new spending benefited the rich means that the poor and middle class are hurting. 
  4. Because of this, the poor and middle class are now supporting what previously would have been considered unthinkable political positions (Brexit, Trump).
  5. Wind and solar are not sufficient to solve the problem because they will require a huge investment to replace a large enough portion fossil fuels and they are relatively expensive themselves.  This investment is not feasible in our exhausted economy.
  6. The problem will only get worse unless we address it directly.  Soon it will not be able to be papered over by debt because more and more people are waking up to the emperor's nakedness (and interest rates have already hit zero or below and have no more room to fall).

Just running some charts relating to coal production. My assumption for the relevance of the proceeding data is that coal is the chief fuel for our electricity generation, as shown below;


So here are the charts. I've taken the data from BP's 2016 Energy Review (figures run until end of 2015).


Breaking it down on a nation-by-nation basis shows how reliant coal production is on China;

What's the saying? As goes China, so goes the world? So China peaked in 2013 and the world peaked in 2013 - 2014 with the decline coming in 2015. It'd be interesting to see how we end the year.

Edit: Coal Production is the total of all coal products (i.e. bituminous, anthracite, lignite and brown)

This time focusing on consumption. Interesting that India overtook USA last year. As before, data comes from BP.


And total global consumption;


So both production and consumption in decline. Further mine closures ahead? Deflationary pressures building? What does that do to Chinese debt? And what will be the response of the Chinese authorities? Devalue the Yuan further? Interesting times…

Respectfully you make some good points but are absolutely wrong about Brexit .
I'm one of those Briton who voted to leave the EU .

The people have been fighting to have their say on EU membership for 20 years but the political party system prevented it .

If the Brexit referendum had of been held 10 years ago , the result would have been a landslide victory for leave .

All the establishment have to do to win is play a waiting game because time is on their side .

Eventually all of those of us who know the country needs to be self governing and not become part of a federal superstate will be dead  .  

We will have been replaced by kids who have been subjected to pro-EU propaganda throughout schooling and by the state broadcaster BBC a.k.a. Brussels Broadcasting Corporation or "Pravda"