While conservation and alternate energy sources are impacting oil demand, the clear trend is demand is up. In 2010, global oil demand was ~85 MM (million) barrels per day – in 2018, it is close to 100 MM. Oil price (Monday lunch time) was back up to $68. Fueled by prices, which have floated around a 3-year high, USA produced a record 11 MM barrels per day last month and companies are starting to invest in exploration and infrastructure! Unable to stop people using oil, activists are working to kill yet another oil supply chain link – the replacement of an aged pipeline called “Line 3”. Some data:
The current pipeline is:
- 50 years old
- uses old technology leak, welding and corrosion protection
- running at half capacity
- Enbridge is prepared to invest $2.9 billion to upgrade it
- The alternative is rail transportation that is both more carbon intensive and leak prone
The average speed on CSX rails is now 17.4 MPH and the average train is now 1.4 miles long…what that means is long waits at rail crossings and slow transit. But you have to question the 17.4 MPH – in theory, that means New York to Chicago would take 50+ hours – or just over 2 days. I am not sure if this jives with experience.