Almost everyone says that we will get through this. I wonder what things will be like when we do. It seems likely that oil markets and, therefore, the world economy will be quite different. Shale plays will continue to supply more than half of U.S. oil but total output may be lower. Many companies will disappear. I doubt that oil production or prices will return to 2018 levels for many years. Almost everyone says that we will get through this. I wonder what things will be like when we do. It seems likely that oil markets and, therefore, the world economy will be quite different.Energy is the economy and oil is the largest and most productive part of world energy. The global economy has been dying of accumulated debt for 50 years. Coronavirus has sent it to the intensive care unit. The closing of the world economy has caused the greatest demand decrease at least since the 1980s and probably ever. I anticipate an 18 million barrel per day maximum annual demand decrease in the second quarter of 2020. Unlike other models, this does not include a rapid economic recovery in the third quarter. That’s because I don’t believe that the world will go back to work in May. I doubt that the world will go back to work in June.
It seems unlikely that what is happening today will cause society to experience some transformative epiphany that will end the age of oil. If anything, we will need inexpensive liquid fuel more than ever in a poorer world. Rather than seeing 2020 as a year of unspeakable loss, it is my sincere wish that we somehow find ways to live better with somewhat less.