Helping America Navigate a New Energy Reality

Tom Whipple

About Tom

Tom Whipple is the editor of ASPO-USA’s two flagship publications, Peak Oil News and Peak Oil Review. Tom is a former senior analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Since retiring from the CIA, Tom has become a well-known researcher and writer on energy and oil issues. Tom writes a weekly column on peak oil for the Falls Church News, a daily newspaper based in northern Virginia. Tom holds degrees from Rice University and the London School of Economics.

Ecstrat analyst on US shale oil production decline

By on 23 Nov 2015 in quotes with 0 Comments

“U.S. production is about to have a Wile E. Coyote moment where it literally falls off a cliff. One-hundred-and-twenty-thousand barrels, maybe even next month, will drop off…. The supply and demand mismatch will probably come in 2017.”

Emad Mostaque, analyst with London-based consultancy Ecstrat

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Peak Oil Review – 23 Nov 2015

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New York oil lost 35 cents last week closing at $40.39 a barrel after having dipped just before settlement to $38.99, the lowest price since August. In London Brent closed up 1.1 percent for the week at $44.66. Prices were weaker in the US as nationwide crude stocks climbed by 252,000 barrels, but stocks at Cushing, Ok storage depot rose by 1.8 million barrels. The US rig count was down by ten last week, after a two-rig increase the week before. Russia and the Saudis continue to pump at or near maximum capacity. Most brokers are expecting that Iran will be back into the markets in the first quarter of 2016 at about 500,000 b/d day to start.

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Bloomberg columnist on shale oil and prices

By on 16 Nov 2015 in quotes with 0 Comments

“The message from oil services firms is that shale drillers will not simply be able to turn the tap back on again once prices rise. Halliburton said on its earnings call last month that pressure pumping equipment currently sitting idle was being cannibalized for parts while the stuff still being used was being worked to its limits. And the falling backlog of uncompleted wells will also begin to make an impact.”

Liam Denning, Bloomberg View columnist

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Peak Oil Review – 16 Nov 2015

By on 16 Nov 2015 in Peak Oil Review with 1 Comment

Crude oil prices fell by 8 percent in New York and London last week, closing at $40.74 and $43.61 respectively. Continued growth in global crude stocks and uncertain economic outlooks for China and the US are still seen as the cause of the price slump. Short covering by speculators who believed we had already reached the bottom of the slump and a strong US dollar contributed to the decline. On Friday the IEA reported that at the end of September global crude stocks were at a new high of at least 3 billion barrels and growing. The Agency is not able to track stocks in smaller countries so actual storage is somewhat higher.

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UVA Professor on Exxon Mobil and Climate

By on 9 Nov 2015 in quotes with 1 Comment

Exxon Mobil and climate change spin: “This could open up years of litigation and settlements in the same way that tobacco litigation did, also spearheaded by attorneys general. In some ways, the theory is similar — that the public was misled about something dangerous to health. Whether the same smoking guns will emerge, we don’t know yet.”

Brandon L. Garrett, professor at the University of Virginia School of Law

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Peak Oil Review – 9 Nov 2015

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After a bounce last Tuesday, oil prices continued to fall closing on Friday at $44.29 in New York and $47.42 in London, down 4.9 percent and 4.3 percent for the week respectively. While oversupply and weak demand remains the basis for the price decline, the jump in US employment with the prospects of higher interest rates and a stronger dollar helped with the decline on Friday. The Wall Street Journal’s Dollar index was recently at its highest level in 13 years against the euro, yen and other currencies.

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Natural Gas CEO on Cap Ex

By on 2 Nov 2015 in quotes with 0 Comments

“”The industry is under so much pressure that you need to have a clear plan. You need to balance capital expenditure against production. Our capex in 2015 will be around 30 percent lower than in 2014.”

BG Group CEO Helge Lund [Q: how will that impact production in 3-5 years?]

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Peak Oil Review – 2 Nov 2015

By on 2 Nov 2015 in Peak Oil Review with 1 Comment

It was a volatile week with oil prices falling on Monday and Tuesday, surging 6 percent on Wednesday and then stabilizing on Thursday and Friday. When it was over, prices were up for the week about 4.5 percent to $46.59 in New York and 3.3 percent to $49.56 in London. Crude prices have been more volatile this year than anytime since the 2008 crisis. Some of the large percentage moves we are seeing, however, are due to the relatively low prices as compared to recent years. The move on Thursday was generally assessed as being caused by computer trading signals coupled with a slightly bullish weekly stocks report. The report showed decreases in oil product stocks and crude in storage at Cushing, Okla. while overall US crude inventories continued to climb. On Friday another drop in the US oil-rig count was reported which led to a small price jump at the end of the day.

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Quote – 26 Oct 2015

By on 26 Oct 2015 in quotes with 0 Comments

“We are witnessing the total collapse of Venezuela’s economy. A contraction of these proportions might be a unique case in the last 50 years in the world. This never happens. Even Iraq’s GDP didn’t fall proportionately during the war.”

Alexander Guerrero, economist and head of the firm Techno-Economic.

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Peak Oil Review – 26 Oct 2015

By on 26 Oct 2015 in Peak Oil Review with 1 Comment

Oil prices continued to slide last week due to increasing inventories and a weakening Chinese economy. Prices have now fallen about $6 a barrel from the recent highs seen in late August and again in mid-October. New York futures closed Friday at $44.60 and London at $47.99 which is about at the bottom of the trading range we have seen since early September. Prices, however, are still some $4 – $5 a barrel higher than the lows of circa $40 and $44 a barrel set in mid-August.

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