I don’t normally post about the financial markets here, but I feel the continuing dramatic decline in in oil prices is certainly noteworthy here as we discuss energy topics.
Personally I’m still not sure how much of the slide is due to anticipation in the markets of new superior energy technology coming online, but I would guess that there are at least some people in positions of power and influence relative to the financial markets who are aware of the E-Cat, and who are expecting it to have a significant impact in energy production.
As much as cheap clean energy can be a real benefit to the world in so many ways (my home heating and transportation costs have dropped, which is very welcome), declining energy prices can certainly cause difficulties for many in the near term. Here are a few headlines and excerpts from news stories I’ve heard recently
Rio’s state government gets much of its revenue from oil production. But the price of a barrel is very low, leaving the state practically bankrupt. The most visible sign of this has been at state hospitals.
On a recent day, dozens of people were crowding the entrance of the Hospital Albert Schweitzer, creating a chaotic scene outside the hospital they could not enter.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, is struggling to cope with crude oil prices that have fallen to below about $31 a barrel. Oil accounts for two-thirds of government revenue and about 90 percent of its foreign currency earnings. The slump is weighing on growth, which is estimated to have slowed tolow to 3.2 percent last year, the slowest pace this century, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.
With an estimated 90% of Saudi government income based on oil production the collapse in the price of oil has dealt a painful blow to the country’s economy with the budget deficit exploding to 15% of gross domestic product.
For now, Saudi Arabia can ride out the oil crisis thanks to foreign reserves believed to stand at around $550 billion. The problem, however, is that those reserves stood at $650 billion in the middle of last year.[…]
If Russia cannot wean itself off a petroleum-only diet it will become an even more dangerous and isolated place that it is at present.
The key to future events is the oil price with Saudi Arabia and Russia praying in their own particular ways for higher prices, but with Russia praying the hardest
These are just a few examples of the economic impact of the oil crash on national economies where petroleum revenues has been the mains source of government funding and employment.
We’ve talked here for years about what could happen if there is a negative price shock in the oil markets — and we are now seeing it happen. Just today, US WTI oil had dropped another five percent and is now trading well below $30 a barrel, and there are respected voices in the financial world saying that we could well see $20 oil and lower.
Where things will go from here is of course unclear, but if we do see big news coming from Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat test in the near future there could be further impacts on the energy markets. With latest hints about the electricity production and high power density from the E-Cat X, it is conceivable that if those predictions pan out, the E-Cat could be suitable not only for electricity generation, but also in transportation.
I think oil prices may well rise again, but in the long term oil may never recover. Even without LENR, energy technology continues to develop in other areas such as energy storage, which makes solar and wind more useful — and there is also the chance of Steorn’s Orbo being confirmed to generate electricity without fuel out of thin air.
It’s a very interesting time. Technological advancement continues to accelerate with little sign of slowing down, making possible things that would have been inconceivable a generation ago (even a decade ago). But technological miracles can have real human casualties, as we are seeing, and I hope it will be possible to extend the benefits of these technologies quickly to those who may caught up in the tumult that this energy shock is bringing in many parts of the world.