Oil prices are set to rise again due to growing foreign demand, which could set the stage for another American oil boom built on the infrastructure of the first fracking boom, according to an economist who works on energy issues.

“Even with China’s economy slowing, global oil use will still rise by 1.3 million barrels a day this year—equal to the peak daily output of the entire Bakken Shale field,” Mark Mills, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, wrote in a Wall Street Journal oped Monday. “Middle-class automobile ownership in Asia is rising steadily, from today’s average of 60 to 80 cars per 1,000 residents toward the West’s 600 to 800 cars. All the fundamentals point to growing demand for oil.”

“Shale 2.0, when it comes, will be even better,” Mills wrote. “The technology is advancing at a speed usually associated with Silicon Valley. Over the past half-decade, average output per rig has risen at least 400%. Productivity rose 40% last year, despite cost constraints. The rigs are getting cheaper, and the efficiencies brought by the latest tools—from data analytics to robotics to advanced materials—have yet to be deployed.”

Mills believes that today’s low prices may be worse for major foreign oil producers like Russia, Venezuela, Brazil, and Iran than for America. These countries require the price of oil to be above $80 a barrel to balance their national budgets. However, industry experts at RBN Energy believe most new American oil production will be profitable at around $40 a barrel. Such a set up means that the price of oil will be essentially permanently locked in at prices favorable to America.

The biq question is how far in the future is the next oil boom???


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The article hinted at this, but American producers are going to set the top of the price range in the future.  There is just one thing that might keep American producers from ramping up production when prices rise, a lack of skilled workers.  If they have laid off too many trained workers, if those workers have taken other jobs they won't quit to come back to oil and gas, and  if they can't train up new workers fast enough when prices start to rise, we'll see huge swings up in oil prices.  If we see huge swings up in oil prices we'll see a new oil glut, and the cycle will start all over again.  It could be a real mess going forward.  I really hope not.


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