A good friend Paul Precht recommended that I view a YouTube video “Tony Seba: Clean Disruption – Energy & Transportation.” Seba offers a fascinating presentation of how he sees the future of energy and transportation unfolding. Even if he is only half correct, there will be dramatic changes for society and especially Alberta. After viewing fifteen minutes of this hour-long video, you will be hooked. I urge you, though, to set aside an entire hour—you’ll not be disappointed.
Precht and I met during the 1990s when we worked together to create a new fiscal framework for the oil sands industry. At that time, he was working at Alberta Energy, a ministry of the Government of Alberta, and I was working at Syncrude. We have remained in touch throughout the years and have collaborated on several projects as consultants.
On the topic of energy, my WTI oil price expectations for the next several weeks to range between $45–$55 per barrel, a slight increase from my expectations of last month. After reading a few articles—for example, “Mission Accomplished? OPEC banishes contango: John Kemp”—that claimed reduced oil inventory levels in advanced economies, I am slightly more bullish.
The next few weeks will be interesting because this is typically a shoulder period between high demand from summer driving and high demand for winter heating. Refineries are often shut down for maintenance to take advantage of this slow time. With the recent storms in the Gulf Coast, I am curious to see how this year’s shoulder period evolves. Also higher prices may provide incentive for drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs) to be brought on stream, not to mention that higher prices might inspire new drilling. Unless there is a spike in demand, these events ought to have a moderating effect on a steep oil price rise. Given this backdrop, I am have raised my expectations from last month.