THE END OF THE FOSSIL FUEL AGE
Big Oil, Saudi Arabia, the merchant banks and markets all think fossil fuel has had its day, a bold statement, where is the evidence for it?
If you had been taking any notice you would have seen Big Oil have been selling of their Oil Fields and getting out of the oil field asset ownership market since September 2011.
Is what I am writing true?
Why would they believe the Fossil Fuel Age has ended?
It is basic due diligence to find out what the big players are doing. So do a Google search for any oil company name and the phrase “Oil field” and the words divest or sell. You will see evidence like the following:
Shell has been on a massive divestment strategy on its oil field assets, from Africa to the Far East since September 2011, though as it was already tracking the Black Swan and has a department specifically tasked with watching this particular Black Swan develop, it knew before the others, it just speeded up its divestment of oil fields as the Black Swan became more visible.
They accelerated the sales of their oil fields as a certain report from the town of Lugano in Switzerland started doing the rounds in the scientific circles in June July of 2014, more about that later, let us keep on with presenting the researched evidence to support the thesis of this article.
Other Fossil Fuel companies have also been on a divestment strategy since September 2011 including:
They have sold their stakes in fields in the North Sea, Russia, the Arctic and the Gulf to name but a few, and not even batting an eyelid about being refused license to buy future assets in the Gulf of Mexico.
Even the pipeline parts and refinery companies started to join the rush to divest the fossil fuel business since 2011. Though it is part of the thesis that refining is not affected by this as much as owning oil fields.
Some are trying to cover their strategy and the risk by divesting half of the asset others are just cashing in their chips.
I could fill this page with how many oil fields Big Oil has dropped since September 2011.
They have even started to remove their exploration and drilling staff, 50,000 oil exploration and drilling staff have been laid off in the past few months:
Big Oil is in the Oil Business! They still need oil for their oil refineries so what have they been doing to ensure supply?
They have been taking out (1) options to lease on (2) US fracking fields and Canadian tar sands. They started doing this back in 2011, so they knew this drop was coming.
Note that (1)”options to lease” They are renting. If the asset is appreciating it is cheaper to own the asset. They have stopped owning and rent instead. So therefore since 2011 Big Oil thought the asset was going to depreciate. Think about that they knew the 2014 fall was coming back in 2011!
So what is their strategy? You rent/lease an asset rather than buy it when you know the asset is about to take a big hit. That way those who own the asset bare the cost of the hit.
And that second part the assets they are leasing are based in the (2)”US fracking fields and Canadian tar sands” you move to a more expensive supplier and out of a cheaper third world asset when you know the asset is about to experience social unrest and disruption, that will harm the business. The kind of disruption that comes with say a massive drop in the value of an asset the business relies on.
Big Oil is even saying climate changing is happening and that fossil fuel use has to be cut.
And now they have started breaking relationships with companies who, deny climate change!
If big oil thinks fossil fuels have no future, why would any one else, think they have?
There is however, a glimmer of light for the oil investor. Big Oil are still invested in the refining industry so they know Oil will still have a market as a precursor chemical for things such as plastics, after the coming Black Swan.
SO WHAT ABOUT SAUDI ARABIA?
Saudi Arabia lives off the supply of oil. Saudi Arabia can afford the best business intelligence and saw what its customers in Big Oil were doing, and so it to soon found out the Fall of Fossil Fuel Age was coming. Ever since, Saudi Arabia has been placing itself, strategically for the Black Swan and decades of managed decline in the Oil industry, where we now know a true market has asserted itself with a vengeance.
So Saudi Arabia therefore knew its strategy was to drop prices to the minimum; in order to take over a maximum share of the Oil market both to slow the changes in the market caused by the coming Black Swan, and to maximise profits in a declining market by gaining market share. Saudi Arabia has realized OPEC is dead and it wants to undercut and kill off as many of its competitors as it can now. So Saudi Arabia’s tactics now include: Locking in customers on one year contracts that substantially undercut competitors, knowing full well the prices will continue to drop and that they will recover these loss leaders later in the cycle, and they will make more money in the long term while expanding their loyal customer base, by continuing to offer them cut price deals, such that the cost of switching supplier makes it an impossible position to argue. Simultaneously killing off the weaker competitors, thus protecting their expanded market share. And their long term business strategy has become the classic stack em high sell em cheap. Making the same money on thinner margins by selling higher volumes.
Now even the other OPEC members have started to realize and are pumping oil as fast as they can.
NOT JUST OIL!
And it is not just oil, this is across the fossil fuel sector. The market for fossil fuel is now red in tooth and claw, it is all now about managing the decline, while the crows pick the bones of the Fossil Fuel Dinosaur.
IT IS EVEN THE NUCLEAR POWER GREEN INDUSTRY!
The Black Swan has affected the Green and Nuclear markets as well. Siemens stated to pull out of the Nuclear Fission Industry around the same time that Big Oil divested their oil fields, and they also sold off their $33 Billion Green industry where they were market leaders, massive solar power plants in the desert, wind turbine manufacturing all sold like they were worth nothing. Since then they and GE have been buying up Combined Heat and power companies, they even made a $1.25 billion offer on a company in Italy that was previously only worth a few hundred million but, here is the kicker, they got outbid.
On the matter of those left holding the bag in oil field ownership: mostly Nation States and Pension funds: When the price of oil hits bottom and it will, same as any other market, then bankruptcies and fire sales of fields will be snapped up by the oil companies who I presume you remember put their money from selling their oil fields in to the bank. BIG OIL still have their money; those who are bankrupted will need to be “Rescued” and Big Oil will ride in on their white charger of corporate responsibility to snap up those depreciated assets that still have value but at desperate seller prices. Up until now an oil well was pumped carefully to maximise its long term output; those “rescued” fields will then be run into the ground for a quick buck.
FOLLOW THE MONEY!
What has happened in the meantime to all that money from the sale of Oil Field Assets? Just what did Big Oil do with all that money they got from selling off their Oil Fields? You can see the amounts involved in the links above.
Did no one notice from 2011 to 2014 that oil stabilized at almost flat price of around 100 to 110 and despite conflicts, economic downturns and upturns did not move from that position? Did that not give you all a clue a big player(s) were taking a huge position?
Essentially the oil companies gave the money to the merchant banks, with a nod and a wink, and maybe, who knows, a soon to be shredded report. They then had some money that they put it into a massive short on the value of oil. Let me make this clear; since before 2013 part of the market took a massive bet against oil. It is there in the commitment of traders report. To understand all this you need to read this earlier Oil Price article:
They stopped rolling over the Shorts in October 2014, though some started in June when the Lugano report started doing the rounds in the scientific community; that appears to be when the report first got leaked. That massive short position is what the 2014 glut was, hundreds of oil tankers full with oil nobody actually wanted, over bought by a market that believed the hype, that fossil fuel was forever, it can only go up! So drill baby drill! Where have we heard that before? It is Bubble talk.
The other thing Big Oil has done is enlarge their own offshore banking and finance business, often as not after hiving it off and separating it from their core business probably to protect it from any fallout.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OIL NOW?
Since the effects of the first round of Oil Shorting ended in February 2015, the Banks and Big Oil’s Financial Arm have built up a second massive short position in Oil futures. Then at the end of June 2015 they once again pulled the plug and since the Oil has resumed its cataclysmic decline. Now Big Oil’s banking arm are also shorting oil themselves. As reported by Sifferkoll back in May.
Big Oil have had their money from the sale of the oil fields in merchant banking since, which is who took out the initial short. I am sure there was a beneficial arrangement, question is, who for? Big Oil’s Shareholders? Or those who invested in the banking arm of Big Oil? We all know how those bonuses work. Now those shorting oil will push the market to its bottom and make even more billions.
This then is:
THE END OF THE FOSSIL FUEL AGE.
SO WHAT HAPPENED IN 2011?
A little known engineer and entrepreneur, who’s history has shades of Nicola Tesla, Thomas Edison and Samuel Colt about it, who goes by the name of Andrea Rossi, demonstrated in front of an audience, including representatives from Big Oil, such as Shell; a working Low Energy Nuclear Reactor (LENR), that was then tested and bought up by a 2 Billion Dollar US investment corporation, they were not the only ones trying to buy up the asset, rumours of the involvement of GE, Siemens and Google have been doing the rounds, and they are not the only names that have started to appear in the frame.
WHAT IS LENR?
Well it began life as a formerly dismissed and derided science called Cold Fusion. A discovery by Fleischmann and Pons back 1989. After an initial bout of fame ColdFusion as three famous physics labs failed to produce the same results as the world’s top electrochemist, and even Fleischmann and Pons found they could not repeat it with any degree of certainty; and was thus it was derided and named pathological science or junk science but a funny thing happened on the way to obscurity. Several researchers who repeated the experiment would occasionally get the same result but these occasional successes continued to be derided.
Some though, despite opprobrium stuck at it, and over the following decade began to get a handle on the Fleischmann and Pons anomalous heat effect and how to produce it regularly and to understand some of its nuances but this was a result without a theory to explain it. And with the temperature limiting electrolytic nature of the wet cells energy levels, that were only of consequence in an experiment and not of practical use, despite a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of greater than one, nuclear power stations also have COP of only just over one as well, anything else, fossil fuel power stations, car engines etc, has a COP of less than one. A COP of greater than one is no use unless it can boil water into steam for huge turbine in the Carnot cycle. These experiments were too small and the rare palladium was not readily available to build an expensive huge reactor for power plant on a few successful experimental models. Then along came Andrea Rossi, along with various Italian Scientists, some he worked with and some were and are his competitors, he and they found the effect could be made with other cheaper transition metals, and more importantly Rossi’s engineering background based Edisonian approach, and entrepreneurial spirit refined the experimental models into a working Nickel dry powder reactor that first produced Kilowatts and now Megawatts. And with a confirmed COP of greater than three and reports of a COP in the tens. Suddenly major companies started to take note.
IF LENR WORKS IT WOULD BE ALL OVER THE NEWS.
Well actually it is known and if you care to check you will see some journalists are writing about it but it takes a great deal of courage to write about a subject that conventional wisdom said was: pathological or junk science. That view is now changing with more scientists researching LENR and journalists are reporting about their success.
WHY HAVE WE NOT HEARD ABOUT ROSSI’S E-CAT?
Well that is the same thing that happened to the Wright Brothers. Rossi’s 2011 version of the reactor was just the equivalent of the Wright Flyer 1, it took a while for the technology to reach market. And few in the mass media or the major scientists believed the Wright brothers had a heavier than air flying machine until years after the first successful flight at Kitty Hawk.
BUT IF YOU ARE IN BUSINESS YOU DO SWAT ANALYSIS EVERY WEEK.
Many in Big Oil and the Banks knew all about Rossi and were watching and waiting as he took a version of his reactor built by the new company Industrial heat, and gave it to a bunch of scientists to test in an independent lab in Lugano Switzerland for a month back in February 2014. It now appears that some businesses had access to leaked versions of the report that went around the scientific communities for verification in June2014 and some began the ball rolling on the futures market. Then in early October 2014 scientists working for Elforsk (The Swedish national energy research facility) and the Swedish Royal Academy of Science, yes the one that chooses people for the Nobel prizes, released the report publicly that they had, verified the reactor worked and produced energy levels of a nuclear level. The Report was published on the Elforsk’s own site and the University of Bologna and is available via Google Scholar among others:
This is the moment on the oil futures market when Sweden’s Elforsk announced that the E-Cat had been verified, see for yourself the effect on the market:
This is the track on the Oil Market when Blackrock/Barclays downloaded the report:
And all those in the know made a killing in the tens of billions of dollars range on the fools left holding the bag in oil. The market did not touch bottom until 90 Days after the official publication of the Lugano report when all the 90 day shorts had run through.
It became apparent Bill Gates was doing his due diligence in early November, seeing the Oil market crash for what it was, a Black Swan. When the richest man in the world starts losing money he wants to know why. He got an emergency briefing from ENEA in Frascati; La Stampa broke the story:
If you do not understand Italian, here is the University Verona explaining why Bill Gates was there.
At that moment Bill Gates had certainly realised there was a bubble in the oil futures market; based on how many people didn’t do their due diligence, to find out what the big players were doing or even the basics like checking the Commitment of Traders reports regularly.
HAS THE REACTOR BEEN TESTED BY OTHERS?
Now the Reactor design in the Lugano report has been independently replicated and verified by Russian physicist Alexander G. Parkhomov of the People’s Friendship University in Moscow, BRICS ranking 82nd in the world.
Since then two other Russian teams have announced successful replications of the Lugano reactor and a conference is being organised in Moscow to report their findings. In Moscow, China and India there are now teams from their national nuclear science bodies actively researching LENR.
WHO IS IN THE LENR MARKET?
Rossi is not the only person working on LENR there are a dozen companies now involved in the race to market including the likes of Toyota, Mitsubishi and St Microelectronics as well as companies based at research facilities at Stanford, Missouri University and MIT, ENEA in Italy and LENR research taking place in the US Navy, NASA, Boeing, Airbus and National Instruments to name but a few. A conference on LENR took place at Oxford University in the UK earlier this year and conferences were also held in Sweden, Italy, Norway and Japan but the company that bought Andrea Rossi’s IP; Cherokee Investment Corp’s Industrial Heat are by far and away the market leaders. With a CE certificated industrial product already working and being tested at an as yet undisclosed customer’s site; and negotiations with the Chinese Government for a mass production facility. They are already into their third or fourth iteration of the reactor design.
Oh, and it now appears, the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, was quietly following LENR for years.
WHAT WILL BE THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF LENR ON THE OIL MARKET?
For producers post LENR it will all be about market share and the basic Walmart strategy of “Stack it high sell it cheap!” If there is only 30 years of Oil as a fuel; probably Saudi Arabia and few other easy access wells will serve the world for that long. The higher the price the faster LENR will be taken up, it is simple supply and demand, so producer prices will inevitably drop.
For Big Oil and their refineries, the picture is rosier; costs down and profits up! BIg Oil are not going to lose out on this, though their shareholders might. As I pointed out Big Oil started to move out of the oil field business back in 2011, they are now concentrated in the refining sector where there is still money to be made both short term and long term and in offshore finance. They will waive their bleeding stumps and demand government support and protection, but I think such actions should be viewed with the same eye that we now look at banker’s bailouts with. With oil prices dropping, their costs are down but their refineries still make the same profit, in fact probably more, and in the long term plastics, chemical feed stocks and lubricants will still be needed. As to their Drilling and Exploration costs, they already started to throw the staff and their departments under the bus, they will not be the only casualties and they will write their asset costs off against taxes.
I made a prediction 6 months ago and was ridiculed for it as I was when I originally pointed out that the Oil companies were selling up their oil fields and thought oil would drop to around $70, I was too conservative though and it dropped below $50, oil did rebound to ~$60 so I was not too far out.
The predictions I made was that oil would drop to $30 Oil this year, based on Sifferkol’s research and the long term $10 Oil true value of oil.
After all that ridicule, $30 is now expected by the market.
On the matter of $10 long term I make these assumptions:
1) Post LENR taking up all the energy market, by about 2045, though it could be as short as 2020, Fossil Fuels will be dead other than, steam locomotives and their equivalent of a few fossil fuel vintage cars and planes, read museum pieces of anything with petrol/diesel engine made in the last 5 years, as examples of the height of that historical technology. Dropping prices by OPEC and others will slow that take up.
2) Taking into account that oil is used for lubricants and as a precursor and feedstock chemical for the chemical and plastics industries, that market will probably still exist and probably expand in the coming LENR boom but it will be in an LENR enabled age where competitors will be able to use other sources for such precursor chemicals and lubricants, but also where the cost of oil extraction and refining will also be decreased by LENR enabled pumping and refining. So Big Oil will still be making massive profits, all that will change is some of the company names, after all in a post LENR market when fossil fuels are no longer your main industry, petroleum as a name is never going to have anything but a retro appeal.
Kind Regards Ian Walker