Jeff Rubin: latest views on BP oil spill, shale gas, oil sands and peak oil

Oil prices are at a two-year high, and a big part of this is surging demand from China. Platts reported this week that China’s oil demand surged to an all-time high in November and demand for the first 11 months of 2010 is up nearly 11 per cent over 2009. The Chinese government has even moved to raise the price of domestically refined oil to keep demand (and inflation) in check. Expect prices to rise into triple-digit territory in the first quarter of 2011, says economist-turned-writer Jeff Rubin, author of award-winning Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller. He also believes that in 2011 we’ll surpass the $147-a-barrel mark that we reached in July 2008.

It has been about 18 months since Rubin’s book came out and since that time a lot has happened around the world, including the BP oil spill. I figured I’d get an update from the former chief economist of CIBC World Markets. My Q&A with him, which I had a chance to do last week, can be read here in the Toronto Star.

I found his thoughts on shale gas most intriguing: “Is shale gas the sub-prime mortgage market of the natural gas market? Is this one giant con and investors are being conned into thinking there’s a huge supply of gas at $4 when it really costs $7 or $8 to bring it to market? In the fullness of time economics will assert itself, just as it did in the sub-prime mortgage market.”

4 thoughts on “Jeff Rubin: latest views on BP oil spill, shale gas, oil sands and peak oil”

  1. It amazes me that folks just STILL do not see this coming- I read an article elsewhere this week how the US is using less gas than 2 years ago, and that they think this trend will continue- but worldwide gas consumption is expected to rise- due mainly, surprise, surprise, to China and India. There is a real posibility that gas will hit $4 a gallon again this next summer, and once again our economy will start another roller-coaster ride tied to our transportation energy costs. sigh! It would be nice if folks would start to take the long view of this and take steps now.

    But then, I’m optimistic…

  2. For environmentally active-conscious and native traditionalists peoples it’s refreshing to see published a critical economic-financial analysis of destructive petro-gaz exploration “thinking” or as JF implies “cons”. Having canoed on St Lawrence from Kahnawake-Montreal to Quebec City in July 2010 and hearing water-soil concerns of communities such as Trois-Rivieres, Neuville or friends on Richilieu, natives and activists invite you to communicate even more and correlate your skepticism with our actions “saving” and not “conning” real, living planet integrities whether through Mohawk Traditonal Council and 2 Row Wampum Treaty, Paul Watsons’ Sea Shepherd, D Suzuki’s works, concerned women, etc.
    In Peace and Friendship,

    Stone Iwaasa
    Special Liaison
    MTC – Kahnawake

  3. China and India both are using more, And Africa which has a landmass twice the size of both put together. Lots of population increase. But no technology increase. Thats the way big oil (Harpers boss) likes it.(status quo) Scientific american says peak oil 2014. We need to get these new technologies going that dont require inputs. We know about GreenGas.cc and GreenNH3 yet we sit and wait for Bigoil to bring us a replacement? Kind of like expecting Big tobacco to roll out a replacement for cigarrettes.?? People get your heads out of the sand..

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