Vladimir Yudin |

Art Berman: Like It Or Not, The Future Remains All About Oil

And competition for it is heating up
Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 1:19 PM

Art Berman, 40-year veteran in the petroleum production industry and respected geological consultant, returns to the podcast this week to talk about oil.

After the price of oil fell from its previous $100+/bbl highs to under $30/bbl in 2015, many declared dead the concerns raised by peak oil theorists. Headlines selling the "shale miracle" have sought to convince us that the US will one day eclipse Saudi Arabia in oil production. In short: cheap, plentiful oil is here to stay.

How likely is this?

Not at all, warns Berman. World demand for oil shows no signs of abating while the outlook for future production looks increasingly scant. And the competition among nations for this "master resource" will be much more intense in future decades than we've been used to. » Read more


The Great Oil Swindle

Is leading us to destruction
Friday, December 15, 2017, 7:41 PM

When it comes to the story we're being told about America's rosy oil prospects, we're being swindled. And the swindle is not just limited to the US.

At its core, the swindle is this: The shale industry's oil production forecasts are vastly overstated.

The false conclusions the world is drawing as a result of the deception and outright lies we're being told is putting our future prosperity in major jeopardy. Policy makers and ordinary citizens alike have been misled, and everyone -- everyone -- is unprepared for the inevitable and massive coming oil price shock. » Read more



If The Saudi Arabia Situation Doesn't Worry You, You're Not Paying Attention

A key geopolitical axis is swiftly shifting
Friday, November 10, 2017, 7:57 PM

While turbulent during the best of times, gigantic waves of change are now sweeping across the Middle East. The magnitude is such that the impact on the global price of oil, as well as world markets, is likely to be enormous.

A dramatic geo-political realignment by Saudi Arabia is in full swing this month. It’s upending many decades of established strategic relationships among the world's superpowers and, in particular, is throwing the Middle East into turmoil. So much is currently in flux, especially in Saudi Arabia, that nearly anything can happen next. Which is precisely why this volatile situation should command our focused attention at this time. » Read more



Art Berman: Don't Get Used To Today's Low Oil Prices

They're a temporary anomaly. Higher prices are ahead.
Sunday, May 7, 2017, 3:00 PM

Oil expert and geological consultant Art Berman returns to the podcast this week to address head-on the question: Was the Peak Oil theory wrong? With the world "awash" in sub-$50 per barrel oil, were all the warnings about persistently higher future oil prices just a bunch of alarmist hand-wringing?

In a word: No.

Art explains how the current glut of oil created by the US shale boom -- along with high crude output by both OPEC and non-OPEC  producers -- is a temporary anomaly. Fundamentally, we are not finding nearly as much oil as we need to continue our demand curve; and at the same time, we are extracting our reserves at a faster rate than ever. That's a mathematical recipe for a coming supply crunch. It's not a matter of if, but when. » Read more


Peak Prosperity

Jeffrey Brown: To Understand The Oil Story, You Need To Understand Exports

Peak Oil is very much alive
Sunday, September 13, 2015, 5:31 PM

Despite the attention-grabbing economic volatility that is grabbing headlines, it's important to keep our eye on the energy story firmly in focus. This is especially true as the headlines we regularly read about Peak Oil being dead " are "manifestly false" according to this week's podcast guest, petroleum geologist Jeffrey Brown. 

As concerning as the fact that global oil production has plateaued over the past decade, despite trillions invested in trying to goose it higher, are Brown's forecasting model for oil exports. His Export Land Model shows how rising internal consumption can swing (and has swung) countries from major exporters to permanent importers within a dizzyingly short period of time. » Read more



Arthur Berman: Why Today's Shale Era Is The Retirement Party For Oil Production

A leading geologist delivers the hard facts
Saturday, February 7, 2015, 6:00 PM

Much of what's been 'sold' to us about the US shale oil revolution is massively over-hyped. The amount of commercially-recoverable shale oil is much less than touted, returns much less net energy than the petroleum our economy was built around, and is extremely unprofitable to extract for most drillers at today's lower oil price.

To separate the hype from reality, our podcast guest is Arthur Berman, a geological consultant with 34 years of experience in petroleum exploration and production, who sees the recent US oil production boost from shale drilling as and short-lived and somewhat desperate; a kind of last hurrah before the lights get turned out. » Read more


Peak Prosperity

Shale Oil - Crash Course Chapter 21

Expensive. Over-hyped. And short-lived.
Friday, November 14, 2014, 7:38 PM

If you've watch the previous video chapter on Peak Cheap Oil, you may be wondering how any of that could be still be true given all the positive recent stories about shale oil and shale gas , many of which have proclaimed that “Peak Oil is dead”.

The only problem with this story is that it is misleading in some very important ways. And entirely false in others. » Read more


Peak Prosperity

Peak Cheap Oil - Crash Course Chapter 20

Still a very big, very real, threat to our way of life
Friday, November 7, 2014, 7:31 PM

Energy is the lifeblood of any economy.  But when an economy is based on an exponential debt-based money system and that is based on exponentially increasing energy supplies, the supply of that energy therefore deserves our very highest attention.

What’s clearly at work here is that we’re finding more oil, but it’s expensive. Yet total global demand for oil will climb as developing countries expand their economies and world population continues to grow. Competition for hydrocarbons will become more fierce than it has ever been. » Read more


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About that Shale Oil 'Miracle'…

Unpacking the propaganda
Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 8:16 AM

It's been said that humans are rationalizing -- not 'rational' -- animals. The deep truth in that statement is that we humans have strongly-held beliefs that color the information we take in an accept. We're often guilty of recognizing only the data that supports those beliefs while rejecting the rest.

For example, today most people place a great deal of faith in the potential for technology to fix whatever predicaments society may face in the future. And they support that view with cherry-picked data, while conveniently overlooking evidence suggesting technology is instead a sword with two edges. » Read more



The Hard Facts About Shale Oil

Its impact wil be short-lived. Much shorter at these prices.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 8:15 AM

Executive Summary

  • Why prices under $100 per barrel just aren't cash flow positive for shale oil producers
  • VIDEO: all you need to know about the shale oil industry
  • Why the Boom/Bust cycle is swinging to 'Bust' for shale companies
  • Why a prolonged 'Bust' in oil prices will create massive economic shockwaves

If you have not yet read Part 1: About That Shale 'Miracle'... available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The Shale Reality

Now, let me build on the case that not only are shale companies not profitable at $50 per barrel oil, but they are often not profitable at prices nearly 100% higher than that.

I’m not about to make the case that all shale operators are unprofitable or about to go bust on the plays, but I am going to make the case that any sweeping statements like “technology will bring us Shale 2.0” are utterly adrift from the evidence at our disposal.

Let’s go back to September 2014, before any oil price weakness had crept into the picture.  At that point in time, according the WSJ author, the shale operators should have been swimming in cash.

Well, that’s just not the case. And some of them were losing their shirts:

Sumitomo’s US shale oil foray turns sour

Sept 29, 2014

Sumitomo Corp of Japan has drawn a line under its disastrous two-year foray into shale oil in the US, with writedowns connected to the project almost completely erasing its full-year earnings.

On Monday, Sumitomo, the fourth biggest of Japan’s trading companies by market capitalisation, said that an impairment loss of Y170bn ($1.6bn) on a “tight oil” project in west Texas would form the bulk of Y240bn of charges for the fiscal year to March 2015.


Hmmmm. I guess Sumitomo just failed to use enough smart technology or something, because otherwise how is it possible to lose $1.6 billion at a time when oil was solidly priced in the $100 range?

Sarcasm aside, the truth is that it’s all too easy to lose money in the shale plays, something I believe is already completely indicated by the negative free cash flows of the industry. 

In fact, that negative free cash flow evidence tells me that... » Read more