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Yes, I know – I was wrong!

China, Economics, Environment, Olefins, Projects, Sustainability

Anybody who has had the misfortune to have to listen to me ranting on about Peak Oil of late might have heard – if they managed to stay awake long enough – that I predicted crude could not fall below $100 a barrel because of the fundamentals.

I must admit my first reaction when I heard on the radio this morning that Brent crude had slipped to $99.30 a barrel was “damn”.

A calmer, more measured and sensible reaction came later – that this might be good news for my battered, bruised and badly depleted shares, most of which are on Asian markets.

Weaker crude might also help us all keep our jobs. Falling oil prices are occurring as reports of project delays, or even cancellations, in the Middle East and China keep emerging – meaning that the chemicals industry might get some relief from the twin squeeze of higher feedstock costs and oversupply. I’ll be dealing with these reports on this blog in the next few days.

“Here’s some news for you – you’re often wrong and so get used to the idea,” said my wife. She’s very direct, being Scottish.

But still – and here goes the rant again – I still feel that the long-term fundamentals are of a tight market as we accelerate towards Peak Oil, possibly by as early as the middle of the next decade.

Maybe a persistent bout of lower oil prices would be bad news as this would make us conserve less and lower investment in renewables (which, admittedly, are only ever likely to provide a small percentage of our total energy needs. Hence, we need to conserve!)