A Short List of People Who Can Bite My Shiny Metal Ass*

Guest blog by S. A. Shelley: As is usual every spring, many large entities ranging from super major oil producers to large Wall Street firms and global organizations release annual energy statistics, reports and forecasts about the world’s energy state. Invariably discussed are subjects like energy mix, demand or supply projections. Often these entities will venture into discussing oil prices and associated forecasts. All those entities have big research budgets and teams of analysts, statisticians and economists pouring over mountains of data. However, even with all those highly paid personnel, and I suspect some added AI, those big entities are at best equal to the analysis undertaken by OWOE staffers, but more often than not, much worse. Apparently, nobody can beat curiosity, whisky and voodoo.

Take the IEA for example and their 2024 Oil demand supply forecast published last month (Oil 2024 – Analysis – IEA ). Up front in the Executive Summary, the analysts boldly write:

Divergent regional economic trajectories and the accelerating deployment of clean and energy-saving technologies are combining to progressively slow the pace of oil demand growth, with a plateau emerging in the final years of our forecast, which runs to 2030.

Compare this to what OWOE analysts humbly wrote in a blog in 2021:

To reiterate, the decline in old demand growth is in response to changes in energy consumption, improvements in energy efficiency and the arrival of new technology that displace oil consumption.

The analysts at IEA can bite my shiny metal ass.

According to researchers at the Bank of America, oil demand is on the rocks. I have not yet found a copy of that Bank of America report, and I welcome any reader to send me a link. Instead, I have to rely upon second-hand reporting but I have faith that the journalists at the Financial Post and Reuters are credible. Continuing with the matter at hand, those same Bank of America analysts concluded that the drop in oil demand would be met by price increases instead of the expected decreases .

Bank of America (BofA) Global Research has raised its 2024 Brent and WTI oil price forecasts, citing escalating geopolitical tensions and the OPEC+ producer group maintaining supply curbs.

Newsflash BoA strategists, I commented about oil suppliers maximizing their best interests and thus potentially flooding oil markets in that same blog in 2021.

Even if demand improves a bit this year, be ready for another oil price downturn as the excess supply available is still much greater than any demand increase that I foresee.  (Oops, I just forecast oil price, which when I started blogging, I promised to never do.)

Others also noted in June that oil prices are sluggish and weak, again because of geopolitical risk and slowing demand growth. Geopolitical risk be damned; we commented on demand sluggishness a few years ago. I raise my cup to the Bank of America strategists as they can also bite my shiny metal ass.

Even the oft cited analysts over at Rystad often get their oil forecasts wrong or late. Rystad Predicts Near Zero Oil Supply Growth in 2024. We discussed this in a series of blogs in 2019 (The Great Oil Slump of the 2020s – Part 1, SupplyThe Great Oil Slump of the 2020s – Part 2b, Demand and Technology) .  The much anticipated annual global energy outlook by BP confirms the much earlier forecasts by OWOE analysts on everything from peak oil demand to rapidly accelerating supply of renewables. Again, with all due respect, the analysts at Rystad and BP can bite my shiny metal ass.

And please don’t get me started about the analysts at Exxon, the World Bank or worst of all the federal government and most of the provincial and municipal governments in Canada.  In Canada it seems that ranging between extreme cold in winter and heat waves in summer has snapped the last synapses of the government officials and their high-level bureaucrats. Panic mode is never a good idea. Perpetual panic mode is worse.

Surely with all those incorrect and late forecasts bantered about by heavyweight firms and organizations something must be wrong with the data? No, it’s not the data, it’s the broad observations and multi-layered connections that most of these very well paid analysts overlook. Many decades ago,  historian James Burke had a series on BBC about “Connections“.  In the BBC series, he discusses the often-overlooked manner in which change in one technology can profoundly impact another technology in an unforeseeable manner. We alluded to such impacts in our blog about the “Cobra Effect“. Highly paid analysts have a very narrow mindset, oft succumbing to herding influences, and thus miss the novel connections that are reshaping our world. At OWOE, we ponder wide scopes and wonder how interconnections can play out.

Consequently, most of those over paid analysts and strategists can’t keep up to the volunteer OWOE staffers.

As always,

Shut down Line 5 and Vive l’Alberta libre

*With most gracious thanks to Bender, of Futurama, for this phrase.

In Memoriam, Ubo  2012 to 2024

Figure 1 – Ubo

On Saturday, June 29, Ubo, the faithful bike companion of this blogger was stolen in Houston. Ubo was a 21-gear road churning fun machine. He was the best wing man when I pulled up to chat with pretty women in convertible Ferraris or Porsches. Ubo got me through storms of all kind. It didn’t matter if it was tropical rains or freezing ice storms, we often went where no cars or trucks could follow.  In 12 years we were only hit twice and every year he kept me above the snakes in the road (of which there are too many in Houston in spring). Ubo is deeply missed.