Reports of OPEC’s demise have been heard before

Oil

I’m pretty sure I’ve heard predictions of the demise of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) before. Spencer Jakab’s forecast[1] is interesting, but like any forecast, faces the test of time.

Of course, one has to think of climate when one thinks of anything that might affect oil extraction. Jakab sees the industry being impacted by reduced demand—prompted by the coronavirus scare, a presumably temporary factor—forcing high cost producers into bankruptcy and depriving some OPEC countries of badly needed revenue.[2] I think we have to see how that plays out, in combination with other technological developments, such as improvements in battery technology,[3] long before we can see any move to “leav[ing] it in the ground.” Jakab concludes, “Shale isn’t gone for good. OPEC’s power may be.”[4]

Spencer Jakab, “OPEC, R.I.P.,” Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/opec-r-i-p-11583722267


  1. [1]Spencer Jakab, “OPEC, R.I.P.,” Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/opec-r-i-p-11583722267
  2. [2]Spencer Jakab, “OPEC, R.I.P.,” Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/opec-r-i-p-11583722267
  3. [3]Peter Valdes-Dapena, “GM’s new electric car battery tops Tesla’s,” CNN, March 5, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/04/business/gm-electric-car-battery-400-miles-of-range/index.html
  4. [4]Spencer Jakab, “OPEC, R.I.P.,” Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/opec-r-i-p-11583722267

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