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CEO of EOG Resources on the future of US Shale & Research Physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab in New Jersey on Nuclear Fusion Reactors

“Mark Papa, the former CEO of EOG Resources, and who has probably been presented more technical data pertaining to shale oil than anyone, believes that shale oil growth potential may be over-stated as the prime areas of the Eagle Ford and Bakken are already drilled up. The question is how far does the Permian have left. Probably a couple of years.”

Randy Evanchuk, P. Eng., retired from oil operations in 2015

“Now that I have retired, I have begun to look at the whole [nuclear] fusion enterprise more dispassionately, and I feel that a working, every-day, commercial fusion reactor would cause more problems than it would solve.”

Daniel Jassby, a research physicist who worked on nuclear fusion experiments for 25 years at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab in New Jersey (3/19)

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Peak Oil Review – 26 Mar 2018

The most significant news driving the oil markets last week came from Washington, where major policy and personnel shifts drove the markets down and up last week. Crude posted its biggest weekly gain since July on Friday as President Trump changed his national security team, fueling speculation sanctions on Iran will be re-imposed. Earlier in the week, the President’s imposition of new tariffs on imports had observers talking about a tariff war that could cut the demand for oil as economies slipped. Indications from the Saudis and Russians that the OPEC production freeze could be extended into 2019 helped lift prices earlier in the week.

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The State of the Venezeulan Economy

[In Venezuela] “Production is collapsing in a way rarely seen in the absence of a war. The country is also suffering the worst economic depression ever recorded in Latin America.”

Francisco Monaldi, a fellow in Latin American Energy at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University (3/17)

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Peak Oil Review – 19 Mar 2018

Oil prices closed on Friday at $66.21 in London and $66.34 in New York. Prices are about in the middle of the trading range where they have been since mid-February. The markets, torn between increasing US shale oil production and what is thought to be increasing global demand, seem likely to stay within this narrow range until there is convincing evidence one way or the other. While prices have climbed by more than 40 percent since the middle of 2017, day-to-day volatility has fallen to its lowest level since 2014.

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Richard Heinberg, journalist, and educator on US shale

“Yes, the amount of US tight oil being extracted could continue to grow for a while longer — as long as investors keep ponying up money, or as long as the ‘sweet spots’ last, or if oil prices rise significantly. But then production will fall and the country will gradually (or perhaps quickly) return to dependence on declining conventional oil production. As all this has been happening, the idea of a near-term peak in world oil supplies has become discredited. So discredited that even when multiple news organizations reported that the rate of new oil discoveries has plummeted to a level not seen since the 1940s, no one dared even mumble the words ‘peak oil.’”

Richard Heinberg, journalist, and educator

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Peak Oil Review – 12 Mar 2018

It was a volatile week with oil prices climbing slowly on Monday and Tuesday, falling by over $2 a barrel on Wednesday and Thursday, and then rebounding to close down about 50 cents for the week on Friday. As has become normal of late, the up days were largely driven by expectations of increasing demand and the down days by fears of a shale oil glut. New York oil has been bouncing around in the low to mid-$60s since mid-January while London futures have been trading some $3-4 higher.

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State representative for South Carolina responding to new offshore drilling proposal by the Trump administration

“Eight to 10 million tourists a year come down to Charleston. They don’t want to come to see oil drilling off the coast. Ain’t gonna happen. Not on my watch!”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R), a new state representative for S. Carolina, responding to new offshore drilling proposal by the Trump administration

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Peak Oil Review – 5 Mar 2018

Oil prices fell sharply last week ending up at $61.25 in New York and $64.37 in London. A higher than expected increase in crude stocks and gasoline was the impetus for the decline. An unexpected decline in Chinese economic activity, likely due to the winter holiday, did not help the outlook for oil nor did President’s Trump’s announcement of new tariffs and the remark that “trade wars are good, and easy to win” did not help the outlook for oil prices. US oil production and the oil-rig count continue to climb slowly. Talk in Washington of crippling new sanctions on Venezuela which would likely remove still more of its oil from the export stream did not help the situation.

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