Lutz Killian on shale oil, US oil & gasoline
This is a really excellent piece by Lutz Killian that summarizes much of the current information about shale production as well as its implications. One of the issues recognized by Killian, at least implicitly, is that time and costs are not necessarily on the side of the promises of a revolution.
One fantastic point brought up by Killian that I get asked often is: What is the big deal about exporting of oil when we already export gasoline and diesel?
It seems inconsistent to be concerned about oil exports when we allow the end product used by consumers and producers to be exported. Also, the consumption numbers compared to the production numbers suggest we would still need to import oil. I found the advantages provided to domestic refiners from export restrictions a really key point not mentioned by many others.
The one issue that remains unresolved from my perspective is time. How long will oil prices remain low? How long will fuel prices remain low? Clearly there has not been a resurgence of US manufacturing yet as a result of lower fuel prices. However, if prices remain lower for longer, is it possible?
The major benefit right now from lower fuel prices is more money in the pockets of US consumers. This is a great benefit, but is more temporary in nature due to the expectation that prices will at some point increase again. Will there be more lasting effects? Only time is going to tell.