The role of the automobile in the world’s future transportation system will determine the amount of gasoline and diesel fuel needed, and in turn the amount of oil required to produce the fuels. Impacting this outcome will be the share of the global vehicle fleet represented by electric and other non-gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. We examine both the BP and ExxonMobil views on this topic along with reviewing recent trends in the U.S. auto transportation sector. In anticipation of higher oil prices later this year in response to the OPEC/NOPEC(non-OPEC) production cuts, crude oil traders have placed their most bullish bet on that occurring in the last decade. Interestingly, in past periods of peak optimism, traders often faced falling oil prices shortly after their bullish bets were placed. Will that happen this time?
Low natural gas prices are driving coal from the electricity generating market and will potentially drive nuclear out, too. But there are other dynamics at work shaping the nuclear industry outlook such as the push for more electricity generated by renewables. We examine the latest nuclear power battle in New York State where Gov. Cuomo is working to get the Indian Point nuclear plant located near NYC closed by 2021, 14 years ahead of its license expiration. The problem for New York power consumers is that this plant accounts for 12% of the state’s electricity supply, an amount that wind and other planned green energy sources will be unable to replace, leaving customers facing skyrocketing electricity prices and at risk of an unstable grid ensuring increased blackouts, i.e., the worst of both worlds. As with many issues impacting the power market, this battle over the future of 20% of America’s power that comes from nuclear is well below the radar screen. Finally, we review the BP 2017 Energy Outlook as it offers some interesting and confounding views about the future of the energy business, and the oil and gas markets, in particular.