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Matt Smith

Ten Reasons Why Coal Is Here to Stay

Despite the anthracitical fuel being the red-headed stepchild of the energy complex, talk of coal’s demise would appear misplaced. Coal has historically been, and is currently, the leading fuel in the US power generation mix.
Categories: Coal
A Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. natural gas drilling rig operates in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. (Cabot Oil)

10 Things to Consider About the Marcellus Shale

If the Marcellus Shale were a country, it would rank 8th in the world in terms of natural gas production, producing more than Saudi Arabia.

Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Frack…

The line above is (mostly) taken from the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner‘. It seemed relevant when addressing the issue of water usage in hydraulic fracturing, as the poem provokes a similar range of emotions – from horror to incredulity to fascination. I haven’t set out to validate or vilify […]

From RINs to Supply to Demand to Seasonality…Why Gasoline is Heading Lower

Let’s end at the beginning: retail gasoline prices are going to continue to head lower, and this post simply presents the case as to why, through some simple visuals.  But before we do that, here are some reasons as to why that downside could be more limited than it otherwise should be: –Stubbornly high input […]

Commentary: From China to California, signs of a lower carbon future

Although it is easy to get caught up in the vastness of the volume of fossil fuels we continue to consume, we are increasingly being presented with positives as we move – albeit slowly – along a path toward a lower carbon-emitting future. So here are a few hat-tips towards said precedents of progress from […]
An oil pump works near Stanley, N.D. (AP file photo/James MacPherson)

Commentary: How the US is benefiting from the oil and gas revolution

I am a (nerd) huge fan of in-depth research reports, for I relish the challenge of sifting through them to find the simple takeaways that make sense to me (while gracefully admitting defeat to the more complex bits). And the recent release by IHS of ‘America’s New Energy Future: The Unconventional Oil and Gas Revolution […]

Changing Trends in Energy and the Global Economy

There have been some splendid examples of flip-flopping across the energy and economic landscape of late, and this post takes a look at three such examples – well, three pairs actually – which have walked onto the radar recently. Manufacturing In Developed vs. Developing Nations The first flip-flop occurs betwixt developed and developing nations in […]
(Bob Owen/San Antonio Express-News)

Commentary: Oil tales through the rupee and rail

More oil is being transported by trucks, barges, and trains than at any point since records began in 1981. Canadian shipments reflect a similarly meteoric rise – 16.6 million barrels of crude were shipped to the US by rail last year.
Categories: Crude oil

Markets: Long of Oil, Short of Helium

Just as I was about to write about the long side of markets, I read about the latest twists and turns in a fascinating story on the short side of things: a potential global helium shortage. And yes, I fought long and hard against the urge to use a pun in the title…‘helium market deflates’… […]
Oil Barrel

Commentary: Oil diverging further from other assets

Back in late April I wrote a post called ‘Dot-to-Dot-to…Not?’, which joined the dots from mortgage rates to oil prices…and how their price evolution had been counterintuitive to the move in equity markets: the risk aversion exhibited by fixed income markets and caution shown by oil prices did not jive with the emphatic rally seen […]
Categories: Crude oil
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